To The Editor:

I am writing to acknowledge the genuine efforts of some CHS alum (class 2017), their clarion call to our community’s leaders and officials, and the kick-off of dialogue ensued. Please see “Chatham is Not Immune” (TAP May 31). They urged Chatham not to stay stationary while many other towns, local and national, groups and individuals are moving forward in long-overdue recognition that systemic change and reform are the vaccines needed to combat the pandemic of injustice sickening our nation. 

Indifference, complacency, fear, rigidly, complicity, anointed supremacy, and abuse of power infect and cause dis-ease we are now witnessing widespread. Without an antidote, lives such as Mr. George Floyd’s and many others before him were lost, needlessly and preventable. 

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The rising generation of adults namely our college students, postgraduate young adults, and even high schoolers recognize change is imperative. What was no longer works nor is acceptable. They are baffled why they need to tell us that, why we are myopic to the obvious. 

The call to make space in our hearts in solidarity with the black community during this time and all times, and also with anyone marginalized - others of color, immigrants, the poor, the homeless is the call to recognize the fullness of humanity in each other. It’s an awakening none of us any longer should live outside of kindness compassion, warmth, love, and welcome. 

Solidarity speaks to union, communion of feelings, shared purpose, fellowship, and opportunity. It does not presume to understand the lived experience of being black (if that is not one’s identity) or the ancestral suffering that is their inheritance; such presumption denigrates. Yet solidarity brings together, has us enter in a sensitivity to suffering and pain, and into a deep commitment to try to prevent or relieve it.  

Compassion and solidarity aren’t a movement or revolution even if it takes one to remind us these essential characteristics are part of a healthy society. Rather, compassion and solidarity are a way of life, promote right and good, and are borne of the recognition “none of us are well until all of us are well”. 

I’m not sure if I succeed every day, in fact probably not, but I sincerely aim every day to act with compassion and in solidarity. 

Those who do likewise- continue. Those who haven’t yet begun- try. Those who try but misstep- try again. 

“We’re all just walking each other home.”

Thank you for the chance to express my opinion.

                  “aunt”Jane Devlin

                formerly Chatham Twp.