Dean Ian Solomon: “Today, again, I am overwhelmed with grief and rage…"

A personal message from Ian H. Solomon, Dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia

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Painting credit: Brian Carlson

Today, again, I am overwhelmed with grief and rage.

I want to name the victims for whom I mourn and in whose names I seek justice. Names humanize and offer a face and a story and web of loving relationships, now extinguished. Names prevent us from being numbed by statistics or the anonymity of strangers.

So today, again, I honor Mr. George Floyd, Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, and Ms. Breonna Taylor. I honor their lives that ended too soon, pray for their families who will carry this grief for too long, and acknowledge their humanity as victims of an unjust system. May their memories be a blessing and an inspiration.

Of course, these victims were among the rare cases where the deaths were witnessed or caught on camera. A tragic irony is that by mentioning individual names, we both personalize our nation’s collective catastrophe and minimize it.