I am so proud of our Marion High School Class of 2020.
When I watched our virtual celebration and Class of 2020 spotlight, I was inspired by how much life, excitement, and hope for the future our Class of 2020 Giants have! I was also inspired by how diverse our Marion Giants are, which is a reflection of the community in which we live. Our diversity is our strength. I was inspired by the love our Marion Giant Class of 2020 has for one another, their school, and their community, and the love Marion Giants across the globe have in giving back and honoring our 2020 Giants!
What saddens me is hate. Hate intentionally hurts! Hate divides! Hate destroys! Hate was seen in the tragic actions that caused the death of a fellow American in Minneapolis, George Floyd. Whenever acts of hate of this nature occur, it reminds us of the social and racial injustice that has always been with us in America and in this world.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke truth when he said that hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. So let’s choose love! None of us can fully understand what another thinks and feels, but with love in our hearts we can choose to be culturally sensitive and culturally responsive to one another, and embrace our diversity!
What happened in Minneapolis is horribly wrong! This act has caused hurt and has reminded us of generations of hurt. I am deeply sorry for this. I have now lived 57 years as a white man in America. I will never know what it feels like to be a black man in America. There are centuries of clear and evident inequities and injustices in America, and I will never know what that feels like. But I know that to stay silent is wrong. Love must combat the hate, and the hurt it causes.
I very much love the diverse people of our community in Marion, Indiana. I am sorry for the injustices and inequities that have occurred throughout our community’s and nation’s history. I want to say I am sorry, and I want to better understand so I can be a part of helping and not hurting. I know that healing is the journey I desire for myself and our community, and I know any healing journey starts and endures through love.
I ask our community to recognize the hurt of our neighbors because of the social and racial injustices that generations here and throughout our nation and world have endured. Let’s build healthy relationships built on real love, deep love, where we can be of help in a manner that is needed and preferred by our neighbors who are hurting.
Jarrett Michael Adams, Marion Giant, Class of 2007, said it very well and has granted me permission to share his words with our Giant Nation. Please choose to read what he has to say below as it is full of truth and love!
~ Dr. Brad Lindsay, Superintendent, Marion Community Schools
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When I was a kid, I rode with my mother to pick up one of my best friends. My friend was Caucasian, but that didn’t matter to my family. I remember us riding to my house in the back seat, playing with toys, and laughing with one another. As the car ride proceeded, I remember him, putting his toy down and saying to me, “Jarrett, I’m White.” I remember ignoring him continuing to play with my toys. He looked at me again and said: “Jarrett, I’m White, what color are you?”
We couldn’t have been any more than 8 years old, and for him to ask me, that seemed quite odd. Like, why can’t you just play with the Ninja Turtles and be quiet?
I remember my mother looking at me in the rearview mirror to see my response, and I remember looking at him and saying, “I’m Green.” Now, most would think what I said was to be funny, but I remember saying it because neither the color of my skin nor his mattered. He was my friend because he was my friend. Not only that, but my parents both taught me to love everyone no matter what someone looked like or their background because we all bleed the same way.
Friends, it is time for us to come together. Racism must stop. These social injustices must end. We cannot let the world divide us. We cannot continue to bring war upon one another. But most importantly, we cannot allow racism or let social injustice divide or destroy our community. I know you’re angry. I’m angry. I know you want results. I want results. But violence is not the answer. I get it, but that is not how we will conquer this dark shadow that has historically plagued our society.
Instead we must join together as a community and fix the problems together, rather than letting these horrific cycles continue. Whether you like it or not, we are in this together.
A lot of people do not agree or want to justify the current tragedies taking place around the world, and to those people, I say, God bless you and I’m praying for you. That is all I will allow myself to say.
But for those who are hungry, desperate, and determined for change, I say to you, let us come together.
One of my favorite hip-hop artists/activists, Killer Mike, stated last week, “We must plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize.”
Friends, I’m tired, and I hope that you are just as tired of the racism and social injustices going on in our country. Our unity is not in the hands of our president. It’s in our hands and lives in the soul of our community. This is our responsibility. Come together, unite, but more importantly, love one another.
As Nelson Mandela said, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.”
WE ARE FAMILY!
~ Jarrett Michael Adams, Marion Giant, Class of 2007
Janet Adams, Marion Community Schools Director of Diversity and Inclusion (and mother of Jarrett Michael Adams, quoted above), spoke at a rally in Kokomo, in neighboring Howard County.
We are proud to have her in the Giant Family and we are grateful for the work she does every day to build a better Marion Community Schools, and a better community for all.