In a time of such ugliness in American history, Amanda Gorman stood on a national stage with presidents, beautiful and regal, and spoke words of guidance, healing and inspiration to a damaged nation.
An African American Capitol Policeman, while risking his life to protect the Capitol, the leaders of our country, and our democracy itself from great harm, was repeatedly called the “n” word by violent, raging white supremacists. Afterward, all he could do was weep.
African American workers then came in to repair the damage the almost exclusively white mob had caused.
Across America, we have watched as front-line workers risked their lives to provide services, despite the fact that many of them suffered also from low wages and sub-standard or non-existent healthcare. Vast numbers of these people are African American.
We lost John Lewis this past year — an African American of tremendous moral courage, who inspired many and helped lead our country with an integrity few possess.
Despite having been enslaved, marginalized, terrorized, and discriminated against, African Americans have actively and consistently provided care, protection, inspiration, guidance, labor, entertainment and love to us all. They have persevered, with so much heart.
I am in awe. My heart swells with gratitude. As a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, some of whose ancestors owned slaves, I want to say to my African American brothers and sisters, THANK YOU.
I need to say, I’M SORRY.
And I promise, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Many other Americans stand with you. You can count on it.
— Amy Gaffney, Chico
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