June 5, 2020
As the leading voice for the Oceanside business community, we would be remiss if we did not use our platform to address an issue affecting our neighborhoods and businesses across the nation. We believe this is an opportunity for us to share the feedback we have received from residents and businesses in our community and to help set an example of what we can do in order to see positive changes in our region.
For far too long, minority populations across the nation have suffered abuse and neglect due to insensitive, racially motivated actions. The lives of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd among many others lost are a constant reminder of the injustices our black community has endured for many years. The unlawful actions of the police officers during the arrest of George Floyd were simply unacceptable, disturbing and cannot be quietly dismissed.
As citizens nationwide have gathered for peaceful protests, the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce stands with every individual hurt or angered by the recent events, especially those within our black communities. We believe that cultural diversity is part of what makes Oceanside so unique and that racial discrimination and violence of any kind will not be tolerated by this community.
We commend the peaceful protests as they are an expression of our rights as Americans to allow our voices to be heard. However, the crippling effects of looting and excessive destruction combined with the economic turmoil of COVID-19 is concerning to our business community who fear them may not be able to recover from the devastation. Many of our businesses stand with protestors sharing the same grief and disturbance towards racial injustices, however, are unable to focus on encouraging social change due to their concern for potential looting and destruction.
While we cannot erase the years of turmoil, we can use our collective voice to call on our community members to start conversations surrounding racism, intolerance and injustice and to demonstrate through non-violent measures. We request that you make a conscious effort going forward to hear feedback from communities of color, educate yourself on topics regarding racial injustices and feel empathy towards those positions and experiences which may not align with your own.
As a Chamber, we hold our members and our community to a higher standard. We are catalyst for business growth, a convener of leaders and influencers and a champion of a stronger community. Love, positivity and persistent acts of kindness can be influential in establishing systematic change. We encourage everyone to rally together and raise awareness for the power of positive change which can help build a society that respects and embraces our true values and all people.
The Oceanside Chamber Staff