In response to Scott Hennen’s column “Enough of the shameless politics exploiting George Floyd’s death”:

This article is a demonstration of the problem. I believe ignorance isn’t necessarily always a choice, but is just a matter of empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. I think a lot of people think that by stating “Black Lives Matter” it is somehow stating that no other lives matter or it is somehow throwing out an obscene statement. That somehow stating that “Black Lives Matter” is an affront to everyone else. This is not an insult! This is a statement of awareness.

By making the issue into an us versus them state of mind or by stating things like “Police Lives Matter,” “All Lives Matter,” etc., you are taking away the importance of the statement “Black Live Matter.” You are erasing and diminishing the awareness of brutality being brought to notice in this country. The pursuit of happiness or a means to an end for racism in our country is not infringing upon your own happiness. It is not infringing upon the happiness of police lives or all lives. Get your own movement for God's sake. Show some inventiveness and find a means to your own movement. Don’t diminish a people's cause by making it your own.

Hennen seems somehow insulted that a baseball team took on supporting a movement. As if this is not their business. This is everyone’s fight. This includes all humans from all walks of life. This is the point of a movement. To not just shut up and move on. And stating that George Floyd “should not be celebrated as a heroic figure,” another misconception I believe made by ignorance or lack of empathy. Floyd is a symbol of racism in this country. He is a heroic figure because his death has brought to light many injustices in this country. Putting his character into question because of indiscretions he has made has nothing to do with the symbolism he represents. People identify with him, that is the point. He is a flawed man, as are we all. It’s what makes us human.

George Floyd was a man, a human that was treated unfairly. He represents all who have been treated unfairly. I am a caucasian woman, living in Fargo. I have seen and still see racism. I am privileged and I know it. I see the cause “Black Lives Matter.” I may not be involved in the fight, only because I cannot fully put myself in your shoes, for the reason that I am privileged, I am white. But I’m certainly trying and I hear you. Your fight is working. Your movement has value,still.

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Hennen does make a point. He is an example of why the movement started.

Alissa Vick lives in Fargo.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.