HAWTHORNE, NJ – Danielle Ireland-Imhof, the Passaic County Clerk and a resident of the borough of Hawthorne, took to social media on Wednesday to express her thoughts following the death of George Floyd and developments taking place as a result.
I’ve been processing everything that’s happening and seeing all the support from those who are joining us, the black community--my community, in standing up for what’s right and being vocal about not tolerating what’s wrong. And honestly, I don’t know what else to say other besides what’s already been said by so many other people. So I’ll talk a little about what I feel.
I’m full of mixed emotions. I feel sadness at the unnecessary loss of another life. I feel frustrated in having to explain again and again and again why this just isn’t right. I feel a little hopeful at the surge of people of all races and demographics who are joining us in speaking out about injustice. But I think that my biggest emotion is cautiousness. I’m cautiously optimistic that everyone who is out marching with us at the demonstrations will still be advocating with us for a change in the days and months and years ahead.
I hope that the support we’re seeing isn’t being done because it’s trendy right now but I hope that it’s genuine and that behind these actions, serious conversations, and possibly even soul-searching is happening. I hope that hearts are transformed into ones that are empathetic and compassionate so that prejudice doesn’t exist when I’m ready to become a mother. I hope that justice comes.
So, there are two things that we’re fighting about. Number One is the blatant racism that’s been exemplified by certain members of law enforcement who crossed clear boundaries in how they do their jobs. They lost respect for humanity and the value of someone’s life. But we’re also fighting covert about racism and bias, prejudging us before even getting to know us. And in that prejudgment, coming to rapid conclusions that lead to the inferior treatment of us either consciously or subconsciously.
I heard someone say the other day that they hope this isn’t a false start for our country to get better, and that’s a good way to articulate why I feel cautious because a false start is what happens when something is started and the goal isn’t met, making a restart then necessary. We need to keep going so that this doesn’t turn into a false start. As a society, we have to keep demonstrating, keep having conversations with each other, keep building bridges, keep mobilizing, and we have to keep voting. I think it would be such a tragedy for us to do all of this and for the next generation to do it as well, and for them to possibly say, ‘Well, they didn’t do everything they could in 2020, they didn’t vote’.
So, I hope that this resonates with even one other person, because it’s been the thought process that’s been helpful for me as I’m trying to stay encouraged right now. Let’s keep working so that this is not our false start. May God bless you, and may God bless the families of George Floyd and all the other men and women we have lost way too soon.
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