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  • Writer's pictureMatt Garris

Why Empathy?

The following quote is from President George W. Bush's statement in response to the national outrage surrounding the killing of George Floyd. His words speak for themselves, but I especially like the final sentence of this excerpt. Progress on these issues requires true empathy. We must put ourselves in others' shoes if we ever plan to walk forward together.

"The answers to American problems are found by living up to American ideals — to the fundamental truth that all human beings are created equal and endowed by God with certain rights. We have often underestimated how radical that quest really is, and how our cherished principles challenge systems of intended or assumed injustice. The heroes of America — from Frederick Douglass, to Harriet Tubman, to Abraham Lincoln, to Martin Luther King, Jr. — are heroes of unity. Their calling has never been for the fainthearted. They often revealed the nation’s disturbing bigotry and exploitation — stains on our character sometimes difficult for the American majority to examine. We can only see the reality of America’s need by seeing it through the eyes of the threatened, oppressed, and disenfranchised."


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