I’ll have to admit, I was a little nervous about moderating a panel on a subject that has become a critical part of the nation’s conversation. Having said that, I do feel honored to some degree, to play a role in shaping and steering what that conversation can be.
I was invited by local TV station WSOC to lead this ‘conversation’ that has essentially been ignited by the brutal death of George Floyd. A white police officer held his knee on his neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds killing him.
For our ‘talk’, five panelists from various backgrounds would lend their voices and thoughts on what and where our city (Charlotte, NC) should be regarding race and police reform. Charlotte has seen it’s share of both. It’s become more apparent our need to have honest talk after thousands in the city took to the streets to demand police reform.
It was during one of those ‘marches’, that several protestors were trapped and blazed with tear gas and rubber bullets by police. In a separate incident, no police involved, but a horrific shooting in the west part of town. Four people were killed and several others injured during an impromptu block party of about 400 people (predominantly African-American)
The guests on the panel had plenty to say about police reform, specifically defunding the police department. See that part of the discussion.
In all, I believe it was an honest conversation and a great start to making change in our community. The remaining question? What will YOU do to better the community, to better our nation. The one thing I take away from this experience is change begins with me. I want to become the change I ask for.