June 6, 2020
Dear Friend of the Mission,
Every day at Hope of the Valley, by our actions, we speak up for the marginalized, mistreated and overlooked in our community which are disproportionately people of color. Stories of despair, racial prejudice and poverty are common themes. We see the effects of social injustice daily. The killing of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin, and allowed by other officers, was not only disturbing it was reprehensible. The horrific image of a man, a black man, crying out to breathe has created a visual image that I hope NEVER leaves our minds, motivations and conversations.
While I might not understand the journey of a person of color in America, I stand with them, Hope of the Valley stands with them and we stand against all police brutality and unnecessary force. I believe that all men are created equal by their creator and therefore black lives DO matter! We have a moral obligation to love and protect our neighbor!
Unfortunately, there are bad cops, but not all cops are bad. There are white racists, but not all white people are racists. As an organization that works closely with LAPD I have seen firsthand their strategic efforts to become a more racially diverse unit with ongoing diversity training and community engagement. They have come a long way since 1992, but WE ALL have a long way to go to rid ourselves of social bias and prejudice. Now more than ever we must seek to truly understand, value and support one another especially those who may not look like us. We must put UNITED back into the United States of America.
As a white man, I have undoubtedly experienced privilege in this life. As the Founder of a Rescue Mission I talk to people every day that started life at an extreme disadvantage enduring immeasurable suffering, trauma and pain. None of us can change the color of our skin or the circumstances of our birth or upbringing. No one should apologize for their skin pigmentation or past, but, as a society, we MUST be mindful of the ugliest of all sins, pride. The arrogance to think that somehow one group of people is better than another or less deserving than another is destructive and evil. God help us for not speaking up for our brothers and sisters who have been unfairly mistreated and persecuted.
As a Rescue Mission, we will continue to love and serve all people equally and pray for racial healing and social justice in our country and community. Our hearts and prayers go out to George Floyd’s family. As an agency we will continue to fight for equality.
If you have never watched this 5 minute video titled: Life of Privilege Explained, please take a moment and watch it….it changed my life and perspective giving me a whole new appreciation for others who have truly been less fortunate than me…I hope the video will do the same for you as we work together to level this playing field called life.