The killing of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis touched off demonstrations across the country and sparked widespread dialogue regarding the very real and well-documented problem of unequal justice — particularly for Blacks in America. With so many people now engaged in trying to find ways to unite, we found it quite disheartening to have an elected Cayuga County official take a divisive stance.
In a letter to the editor published in The Citizen this week, Andrew Dennison, who represents Ira, Cato and Conquest on the county Legislature, pointed out that unarmed white people are sometimes killed by police, that Blacks are sometimes killed by Blacks, and that police officers are sometimes killed while doing their job.
"Do black lives really matter when young black children are being killed by other black people who are supposedly peacefully protesting police brutality?" he asked.
"Where’s our elected officials at all levels are they just going to stand by and watch our country be destroyed?" he asked.
But Dennison's viewpoint reflects an old way of thinking that ignores societal problems and fails to achieve meaningful changes.
A meeting held in Auburn Saturday to discuss ways in which racism might be addressed and reduced was attended by elected officials, law enforcement officers and other who have long records of active involvement in the community. We didn't see Dennison there.
We see an encouraging sign in the response by Assemblyman Gary Finch that Dennison's view of this issue is not embraced by the rest of Cayuga County GOP. Finch is certainly one of the most accomplished and respected elected officials in our county, and for him to condemn the words of another Republican elected official speaks volumes.
The Citizen editorial board includes publisher Michelle Bowers, executive editor Jeremy Boyer and managing editor Mike Dowd.
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