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Forester News

President Schutt speaks out on death of George Floyd

Early last Friday, President Schutt shared the following with students, faculty and staff regarding the death of George Floyd.

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

The past three months have been consumed by the coronavirus. News about it has often blocked out other topics, and plans to combat or gain protection from the virus have overshadowed nearly everything else.

Even in a time like this, though, a window opens once in a while. When that happens, we can look out and remember that the coronavirus is not, in fact, the only thing going on.  Sometimes a window reveals that love, beauty, and justice are still around and with us.

Sometimes, unfortunately, a window can also show something different, ugly, horrible.

This week the latter happened. The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis was vicious, cruel, and inhuman. His senseless death is the latest in a series of violent crimes against people of color in this country. I would say the killing was unimaginable, but then no imagination is required, because George Floyd’s death is all too visible on video.

Police chiefs across the country have denounced the killing, as they should, and strongly condemned the unjustified use of deadly force against Mr. Floyd. Chicago Police Chief David Brown is now requiring all Chicago officers to watch the video and be retrained.

Such steps give me hope, but I also feel the “fierce urgency of now.” As protestors have shouted in Minneapolis and other cities, enough really is enough. The killing of unarmed black men must stop, and their killers must be held accountable. We must insist on this together. Nothing less will begin to address the racism and injustice that still plague America.

I won’t extend this email to dwell on the obvious: the stark and total conflict between the killing of George Floyd and the human values that define this College.  I urge everyone to renew and show your commitment to those values in the days and weeks ahead. That commitment — by our community and others across the country — will be essential to prevent any more deaths like the tragic one in Minneapolis.

Stephen D. Schutt
Lake Forest College