Dr. Clarence G. Newsome, president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, calls the nation to come together after three horrific shootings that have deeply affected communities across the country.
“The horrible events that our country has witnessed over the past three days in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas have shocked America’s soul. Our body politic is in need of deep, deep healing. No free republic can long endure without maturing to the point where all of its citizens live the reality of what freedom requires of us individually. It requires that each of us live out a shared understanding of what personal freedom means. Personal freedom is the power to relate and interact with others in ways that safeguard, sustain and enhance life to the optimal degree. A young nation must grow to see that freedom has no practical meaning for someone living an isolated existence on a deserted island. It only has meaning to the degree that we relate to one another respectfully, responsibly and accountably. Regardless of our private or professional roles, the capacity to be self-disciplining and self- governing is the key to personal freedom. It is also the key to a peaceful and prosperous free society. Just four days ago America celebrated its precious gift of freedom. It will be in the way that we exercise personal freedom that we will have reason to celebrate in the years ahead. On this the day following three horrible days in our national life, I am appealing to the heart, mind and spirit of each American to demonstrate to each other and to the world the best of ourselves as a free people. This day, and the days to come, we the people should commit to nothing less.” – Dr. Clarence G. Newsome, president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.