I’ve tried very hard to be as silent as possible on social and political matters. I have failed from time to time, but the goal has always existed. However, this is an issue that I think overwhelms any desire to stay silent — and don’t confuse silence with neutrality.

I am a white male, a birthright I’ve known affords me certain privileges I’ve never had to earn. Therein lies the problem. Those privileges given to me belong to every person, but they’ve been denied to so many.

Prejudice exists within all of us, as it is human nature. To separate good from that evil, people must make the conscious decision to fight against that natural leaning and extend a loving hand to all people.

If you are unable to separate the violence by a small few from the peaceful protests by the majority, you are part of the problem. Saying “I am not a racist” does not mean you aren’t propping racism up without realizing it.

There are people in our communities — our close friends, our family members, our confidants — who are genuinely hurting right now. Of course all lives matter, no one is arguing that in the least. But right now, it is ok to highlight a significant problem by emphasizing Black Lives Matter.

As I’ve seen posted, Jesus proclaimed “Blessed are the poor…” and no one interrupted him to say, “No, Jesus, blessed are ALL people.” Bringing attention to one issue does not devalue another. We are more than capable of being mature adults and working towards a solution that brings true equality to our country and world.

I am sorry so many are hurting and struggling right now. We see you and will stand with you.