“Words cannot express my sorrow at this heartbreaking moment in our nation’s history. Inexcusable violence against unarmed African Americans has gone unchecked for far too long. These crimes are indefensible.

“As a white American, it’s on me to recognize that white people are responsible for racism. We started it, we need to end it. We must stand with our Black and brown neighbors, but we must not place the burden of fixing racism on them. That’s on us.

“We also must recognize that much of America’s prosperity was built on policies that made the American Dream essentially a ‘whites only’ proposition — Jim Crow, redlining, mass incarceration, stand your ground, and on and on. With that knowledge comes great responsibility, and words are not enough.

“While peaceful protest is called for, the violence being committed by predominately white groups of people is not the answer. It only serves to divide.

“I am committed to continuing to work in partnership with the African American community to make Dane County a place of opportunity, fairness and justice for all who live here, and to work for the day when every child of color has access to the opportunity and safety they deserve, free from the trauma of racism.

“We must lead and walk this journey together, as one community made of many, with a shared commitment to leaving a better world for our children than the one before us today.”

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