FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 2nd
BERLIN, Vt. — On Monday, the Vermont Republican Party issued the following statement of the untimely death of George Floyd.
Today a man is dead and a nation is in turmoil. And while one more political organization issuing a statement might not be what we need right now, the silence of the VT Republican Party would be even more inappropriate.
No one deserves to die based on an accusation that remains – and will forever remain – unproven in a court of law. This is not “Law & Order” nor is this justice. No one deserves to die AFTER they’ve been handcuffed without a fair trial. No one deserves to die with the literal boot of government employees on their neck. This is especially grievous when we consider the accusation that George Floyd’s alleged crime was counterfeiting a $20 bill in the middle of an economic and public health crisis after he was let go from his job following the government lockdown.
What happened to Floyd is exactly what our founding fathers went to great lengths to distance themselves from. We have a justice system that was designed to go to such extents to protect the innocent that in some cases those protections allow the guilty go free. But in this case our system is not working as designed. And this is exactly what was meant when our founding fathers spoke of forming “a more perfect union”. There is little doubt that America was founded on better ideals than any nation has ever been. But what we see happening today is that we are not living up to those ideals.
We owe it to ourselves as a nation to do better. We owe it to the world, that if we want to continue to be the beacon of freedom – that city on a hill that Reagan spoke of – we need to make changes.
Large peaceful gatherings and protests are part of our American tradition as well – and the ideals that our founders sought to protect. The outrage that many feel in light of this injustice is understandable – even warranted. But let us not fall for the lie that one injustice can negate another. As our parents told every one of us – two wrongs don’t make a right.
There are bad apples in the world. There are bad apples in our police forces, which should be brought to justice so that the majority of officers who truly serve the public interest can continue their good work. And there are bad apples mixed in among otherwise peaceful protesters, who seeks not to bring attention to an unjust death and promote a more just peace, but who instead are focused on destruction, anarchy and more violence – those must also be brought to justice.
While we have certainly seen what evil this world is capable of in the events that have unfolded – we also see a small glimmer of hope of what can be good. Sympathetic police forces showing solidarity and understanding besides peaceful protesters is an image America should be proud of and seek to encourage. It should remind us of what we are capable of when we all seek a better coordinated peace, rather than seeking purely to punish the “other” side or strike back. We can all get farther ahead if we are willing to listen first, and then speak calmly. Violence and aggression never win any arguments or curry any favor.
On both an individual and societal level, let us all come together and fight for truth, fairness, liberty and justice for all. Let us reject those individuals, or small groups that reflect the worst of what American is, and let us instead live and work towards a better and more perfect union for a very divided America.
– VT Republican Party