Taxpayers Association of Oregon
As part of our New Voices series we are highlighting new people talking on the matters of race. Larry Morgan is a former Troutdale City Councilor and now City Manager at Gresham. He flew out to Minneapolis at his own expenses to partake of efforts at racial reconciliation with various community leaders. The Portland Tribune captured his thoughts before he left;
“I’m going to talk about my mother, who always protected me. It was so sad that the last words Floyd uttered was to cry out for his mother, who died two years earlier. I’m sure she had always protected him, too…I believe that we are all called to action. Sometimes that means sitting on the couch and being angry; but for me it meant to come here and work with the people that I love eternally.”
Larry’s May 31 Facebook post;
Today was an incredibly emotional day. I visited the community memorial and the exact location where George Floyd was killed.
There are no words.
“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”
On His Facebook Larry Morgan shared these thoughts on his return to the airport:
As I head to the airport and watch through the car window as the fires smolder in the distance, I find this moment bittersweet. Bitter because of communities forever torn apart. Bitter because of a nation deeply divided. Bitter because many have screamed, and yelled, and died for centuries about a system built to undermine our very ideals. Think about that.
But, also, I am encouraged and eternally hopeful about our collective opportunity to be better. I am optimistic that we, not as members of parties, or denominations, or sects, (but as humans), can come together to fix these systemic inequities. We must destroy an old system and rebuild a new one of authentic, equal protection under the law – for everyone. A judicial and legislative compact of equality for the struggling, striving, and successful.
The last three days have meant more in many ways than my first three decades. I will be forever grateful for the friends, family, and potential friends that I have met along the way. I’m excited to return home to – paraphrasing Lincoln – begin the “unfinished work.”
I believe the work that we did here was substantial, necessary, and enduring. Changes need to happen and I believe this is a start.
We would all do better by embodying the words of John Wesley:
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
You can follow more on Larry Morgan on his Facebook page,
—— Taxpayer Association post-script: Because the chaos on America’s streets has been historic and because the issue of race is among America’s most complicated and heart-rendering of issues the Taxpayer Association is publishing short update articles that include new constructive voices as part of a “new voices” series. If you have a suggestion of a “new voice” please email us at [email protected]