Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara on Tuesday said that the protests in the US against systematic racism that was sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer is a “powerful lesson to us all.”
In a series of tweets, Sangakkara said that regardless of the country, the state should not determine the people’s sensibilities and sensitivities. “That’s your choice and mine,” he said.
“The State should not determine our wisdom, compassion, empathy and understanding. It should not and cannot limit the openness of our hearts and minds to others nor our ability to embrace and value difference and differences.
“We the people choose that ourselves. We also choose our representatives from among our own. We are responsible for the character traits they bring to government. We are responsible for the people they are or have become. Their nature has been set by our influence and nurture.
“Our choices guide the State’s attitudes, actions, policy and legislation. In order to establish the best government and the best most equitable governance we need to be better people.
“Our strengths and our weaknesses are mirrored in each other’s conduct and in the conduct of our elected representatives.
“We the people, the ordinary citizen, can together achieve extraordinary change for the better, to set in place a world culture of openness, respect and understanding. A world culture that has no place for ignorance and prejudice and where true freedom reigns.
“We have to be courageous, keep the faith and actively participate in the journey. It’s our choices today that will determine the culture our children inherit tomorrow.
“If we want to be proud of our lives, to see our children proud to carry our legacy forward and onwards, then let’s be better. Let’s demand it of ourselves, for each other, for our children. CHOOSE.”
Floyd, aged 46, died last week shortly after Derek Chauvin, a police officer, held him down with a knee on his neck though he repeatedly pleaded, “I can’t breathe,” and “please, I can’t breathe”.