To the Editor:
I am so proud of the young people in our community who thoughtfully organized the most meaningful protest marches I have had the privilege of attending. The fact that these young adults can feel the racism in America and realize the power of nonviolent resistance as a tool to make your voice heard, proves to me that they understand the true power of empathy.
They know we live in a country that claims equality for all but denies so many of its citizens access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These young adults understand that while everyone’s life has value, it’s Black Lives that matter right now.
People of our community were afraid to have a march down our streets because of the violence that erupted out of anger throughout our cities, but these young adults organized a well thought out and peaceful chance for the members of our community to express their disbelief and horror over the public execution of George Floyd.
At all three marches, people were handing out masks, water, snacks, hand sanitizer, picking up garbage and distributing information on voting and ways to increase equality and decrease violence in our community. For each march, there was a timeline of events which included moments of silence, chanting, kneeling, laying on the concrete like Mr. Floyd, and heartfelt speeches from every age, race, occupation, and gender, the most heartfelt and enlightening coming from those who experience racism every day.
Our entire community should be proud of these peaceful protests, arranged by our young citizens in conjunction with the Crystal Lake Police Department. And while every person involved did an amazing job, I want to call attention to two of the young men who I personally know.
I want D.C. Smith and Charlie Salerno to know how proud their fathers would have been of them this past week. It is a testament to these men that their sons were instrumental in creating these moving tributes to a man they never met. You’ve made your dads, your “Mamas”, your families, your friends, and Crystal Lake proud.