On May 25th, George Floyd was lynched.

The Wooster-Orrville NAACP will not sit by in the face of this atrocity.

Floyd wasn’t murdered by "a few bad apples," he was murdered by the systemic oppression of black people that dates back over 400 years in this country. George Floyd joins a long list of black bodies left lifeless at the hands of racist police and civilians alike:

Trayvon Martin; Emmitt Till; Tamir Rice; Martin Luther King Jr.; Breonna Taylor; Ahmaud Arbery; Fred Hampton; Alton Sterling; Medgar Evers; Eric Garner; Philando Castille; Mike Brown; Freddie Gray; David McAtee; Aiyana Jones; Laquan McDonald; Oscar Grant; Sandra Bland; and so, so many more.

This is the final straw.

We each bear the responsibility to finally put an end to the cancer of racism in our society. We must have the resolve, tenacity, and moral direction to lead this country to live up to its creed: life, liberty, justice, and equality. We must lead each other to King’s proverbial Promised Land.

Our Wayne County community is not immune to racism. Black and brown people in our community face microaggressions daily. The Confederate flag, banner of white supremacy, flies freely from vehicles, and items with the symbol are sold at our annual fair. In 2017, the KKK tried to recruit in Wooster. Just last year, a home in Sterling was blown to pieces accompanied by hate symbols and language.

More recently a Mt. Eaton police officer was caught spreading racist bigotry on his Facebook page. We applaud John Foster, Mt. Eaton Chief of Police, for his swift and justified action against the officer, but the problem does not start nor end with one individual.

In coming letters, the Wooster-Orrville NAACP will outline our demands of our national, state, and local governments. We will also detail our plans to do the righteous work of justice in our community. We pledge to our community that we will lead with fidelity, nonviolence, and persistence.

Black Lives Matter. We are done dying.

Oliver Warren

Wooster-Orrville NAACP chair

Editor’s note: The letter included the names of all 11 members of the NAACP executive committee.