A statement from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, in regard to the death of George Floyd.
The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce condemns the wrongful death of George Floyd and all acts of hate, injustice and discrimination. We are filled with sorrow for the Floyd family, and we are angry and frustrated that our country still struggles with the corrosive issue of racism. However, at least locally, we also see a dim light of hope in a gaping darkness.
The demonstrations in Greater Miami were indeed marred by looting and violence, and that is wrong and cannot be tolerated. However, those instances were very few in comparison to the number of hours of peaceful demonstration that spanned the entire weekend. Those hostile acts were counterpointed by many positive ones, like the protective acts of the demonstrators in front of the CVS, and the hug shared between a State Trooper and activist Renita Holmes both saying they loved the other. We must take those examples in order to find common ground in our humanity and move toward solutions.
First, we collectively need to speak out against racism now more than ever. We cannot stand idly by as neighbors of black and brown skin are systematically oppressed and abused. It should not be left to those communities of color alone to champion change. Toward this end, the Chamber reached out to the County and City of Miami Mayors to offer our assistance. We have stood up a volunteer go team from Leadership Miami to deploy to help where there may be need. In the days and weeks to come we will reach out to community partners, civic leaders and our sister chambers to determine how we can continue to do more. Second, we must keep our efforts positive, peaceful and productive. Turning to violence and destruction muffles the cry for change and serves to distract attention from the real problems – injustice and inequity.
Lastly, we need to adopt the same mindset we have had in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the midst of total isolation and facing grave consequences, we did not allow ourselves to be divided or to be kept apart but found creative ways to come and join together. We have just proved that we can come together when we want to. Certainly, if we are to recover our economy, it must be in an inclusive fashion. Like it or not, our lives and future now are more intertwined than ever. The way we survive and prosper is to do it together.
The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce is committed to doing our part to find the way forward in an inclusive and meaningful way.
“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” – St. Francis of Assisi
photo credit: Al Diaz/The Miami Herald