Listen to Dylan Conley’s speech at the Peace & Justice Rally 4 Crystal Caldwell:
Dylan Conley Speech Transcript
Something that I keep on coming back to is that none of us are free until all of us are free.
In 1776, we declared that all men are created equal, but it’s almost 250 years later and we still have not implemented that ideal.
Crystal Caldwell wasn’t free to simply do her job. Christian Cooper wasn’t free to walk in the park.Anyone who believes that those incidents of violence were the result of a few bad apples are dead wrong. We suffer not from evil individuals, but from the failure of our institutions.
In the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Bobby Kennedy said: “Violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleaning of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul. For there is another kind of violence – slower, but just as deadly – indifference and inaction, slow decay. This is the violence of institutions. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors.”
This is the violence that afflicts us all, but the sickness of inaction can come to an end. We are here today because this is a moment.
2020 is a once-in-a-century moment. You can feel it, I can feel it. The air buzzes with the electricity of radical hope. When I see all of us here, gathered to demand justice, I am overcome by the oncoming wave of our true potential. This energy of this moment in time has placed true freedom on our horizon.
Together, now, we can seize true freedom by eradicating the mindless violence, the mindless menace of violence, from our systems. Together, we can rebuild our systems so that Crystal is free to do her job, so that our children are free to walk home from school, free to sleep in their own beds, and free to breathe.We can finally implement our declaration that all people are created equal.
This moment is the greatest opportunity of our lifetime to ensure that our health and wealth is the result of our own decisions and our own work ethic instead of our zip code, race, gender, ethnicity or sexuality. Now, here, we can build the foundation of our true freedoms by giving Crystal Caldwell the justice that she deserves.
We must recognize hate when we see it, and we must call it by the evil that it is. To call the attack on Crystal Caldwell anything less than a hate crime is to choose indifference and inaction. Silence is violence.
Together, we can overcome the violence of our institutions by confronting and conquering our own silence.
Thank you. Speak loudly!