Open eyes and open hearts. Welcome here.

07.01.2020

Welcome at long last, July. Although you follow months of quarantined solitude and social unrest, you are nonetheless a stand-out month, reminding us of the hard-fought freedoms and rights that we enjoy. At least that’s the ideal; this year most of us are really struggling with the inequity of how freedoms and rights are applied. The recent Supreme Court ruling that protects the LGBTQ community against workplace discrimination shows how far we’ve come in accepting and supporting those of all sexual orientations and gender identities. So why can’t we resolve the matter of racism and white privilege?

We are an imperfect nation comprised of imperfect human beings, and one of the things we’ve been tone deaf to is the fact that it’s not enough to simply not be racist, we are also morally obligated to actively stand against racism. This brings up a point that really resonated with me recently.

During an interview within our new series, From Moment to Movement, Yoal Ghebremeskel is asked what he thought of the number of white people who have joined in the recent protests following the murders of George Floyd, and of black men and women too numerous to count. He responded that while it is important that white people participated, he posed the question, “Where have you been?”

Where have we been, indeed. The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments were ratified in the mid-1860s and 100 years later, the civil rights movement took hold in an effort to end the racial divide. Yet, we’re still stuck in place because the application of legislated rights and justice in the hands of imperfect – and on occasion – abusive human beings. A system of abuses has continued with impunity, and the hurt, rage and frustration on the part of our black friends and neighbors have come to the surface in a way that we hope will be a solid turning point toward meaningful change.

The entire world has been shocked and deeply troubled about the egregious murders of black men at the hands of white police officers that were either ill-suited for that work or inadequately trained. But for the availability of phones and devices that recorded these recent events, they would likely have slipped our notice. These images are now part of our collective conscience, and it is up to us to intensify our conviction to call out racism and social injustice, and to listen to the voices that have been marginalized for too long.

PBS12 is committed to opening up the uncomfortable conversation about race, white privilege and the roots of white supremacy because we think we all have some important work to do. As always, our commitment to inclusivity and to championing social justice remains throughout our programming year-round. But I encourage you to take special note of our new series, From Moment to Movement, produced in partnership with award-winning journalist and producer, Tamara Banks. The series is comprised of several interviews from black Coloradans about their own experiences and perspectives on racism. We’re grateful to the Anchor Point Foundation for funding additional upcoming episodes of From Moment to Movement. Stay tuned for those.

If you want to join us on this journey, we welcome your comments and your support. Regardless of your ability to support us, we hope you will tune in and engage in this discussion. Let’s not waste this moment. Together with you, we at PBS12 stand for freedom and equality for all.

Sincerely,

Kim Johnson
President & General Manager