This week, at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja and our Consulate in Lagos, Nigerians rallied to express their dismay at the brutal death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and call for justice. We salute their peaceful expression of solidarity in support of the ideals of equal justice. They join many Americans who are similarly outraged by what transpired and we have seen them express their shock, grief, frustration, and anger in many parts of the United States. We in the U.S. Mission are not immune to these feelings and like the Secretary of State we find the actions that led to the death of Mr. Floyd abhorrent. His death was a tragedy and never should have happened. The highest officials in the United States on both the state and federal levels have pledged that there will be accountability for what transpired.
Now, it is time for healing, for compassion, greater communication, and increased understanding. It has been said that this episode exposes some of the faults in the United States. We must agree. The United States is hardly perfect. What has truly made the American multi-ethnic, multi-racial democratic experiment impressive in our eyes has been its ability to reform itself and become a fairer, more inclusive, and more equal society over time. We should hope that this tragedy will mark a turning point. As Dr. King famously said, “the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” We sincerely hope that all of us, Americans and Nigerians, will learn from this episode and use it as inspiration to create a better world.