Statement on Racial Injustice and the Killings of Black Americans from Dr. Drew L. Van Horn, President, Young Harris College
YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — Like all members of the Young Harris College community, I have been horrified by recent news of the deaths of black Americans at the hands of current and former law enforcement officers. The killings of Ahmaud Arbery in February, of Breonna Taylor in March, and of George Floyd in May are three of the most recent in a string of deaths that highlight the racial injustice that plagues our nation.
At Young Harris College, our historic affiliation with the United Methodist Church and our commitment to the Wesleyan tradition of higher education call us to develop trained minds and warm hearts. We seek to understand the roots of this evil that afflicts our society, to learn how it grows and poisons us, and to use this knowledge to build a better world in which such evil withers. To do so, we strive to build a diverse campus, one community composed of different races, different genders, different ages, different faiths and different life experiences. Yet for all these differences, we believe that each member of our community is perfectly equal in value, as each of us is equal before God.
In a time of disruption and uncertainty, of pandemic and divisiveness, some of us may be tempted to turn away from yet another tragic and reprehensible act. We may be tempted to think that these issues are remote, that the concerns so volubly and heartrendingly expressed by demonstrators are valid but distant. I entreat us all not to give in to that temptation but to recall Dr. King’s insistence that injustice inflicted upon any one of us is a threat to justice for all of us.
Let us pray that what happened in Minneapolis will be the last in a string of incidents that has brought shame on all of us. And let us pray that we will rediscover our shared humanity so that such an injustice can never be enacted on any of us ever again.
About Young Harris College
Young Harris College is a private baccalaureate and master’s degree-granting institution located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through an education that purposefully integrates the liberal arts and professional studies. The College has four academic divisions: Fine Arts; Humanities; Mathematics, Science and Technology; and Professional Studies. More than 1,400 students are enrolled in its residential and Early College programs. The College is an active member of the NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor in the prestigious Peach Belt Conference. For more information, visit yhc.edu.