June 3, 2020
Ask anyone who knows me, I am not often at a loss for words. Yet, today I am struggling. I cannot adequately capture the events of the past week with simple words. There is no way to summarize the feelings of a reeling and hurting nation so I will not try. I cannot imagine the pain so many are feeling.
What I will say is, we must do better. We can’t keep returning to the same injustices and same battles without attempting to fix what is broken. This is not the time for ignoring problems and waiting for others to solve them. In the words of Coach Izzo, “If we are going to fight racism, it’s a burden we all share, regardless of the color of our skin. We are facing a giant problem and the solutions aren’t easy — but that can’t stop us from trying.”
We can’t stop trying. That much is clear. As Spartans, never giving up is part of who we are. When times get tough, even impossible, we simply forge ahead to find solutions. As individuals, we have great strength. But, when we work together, our collective power is incredible. Now is the time to use that fortitude to invoke positive change.
President Stanley and Interim Provost Sullivan communicated their commitment to an inclusive environment at MSU and a dedication for leading all Spartans to “fight racism, disrupt injustice and actively support each other.” You can read more of their thoughts in their letter to the MSU community.
I have been proud to see so many Spartans — deans, colleges, units, alumni, students, faculty and staff, voice their deep concern and commitment to being part of the change we need. This past weekend when I needed to see some beauty, I walked my dog on campus and was inspired to see visible support painted on our beloved Rock.
Even amongst all the ugly in the world right now, I know there is still good. It’s that very goodness, empathy and humanity that will drive the solutions we need. Fred Rogers said that when things are scary, we should “look for the helpers.” The world is pretty scary right now so don’t just look for the helpers. Be one.
Look toward tomorrow, but do something today. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “The time is always right to do what is right.” #SpartansWill.
Photo by Deon Foster