- Office of the State Auditor
Media Contact for A Message from Auditor Bump on the Killing of George Floyd
This week the OSA hosted a highly successful 2-day video conference for the National State Auditor’s Association. Members of my team were superb presenters, and I have many to thank for both great content and flawless execution. While almost completely consumed by my responsibilities as host and moderator, however, the crisis engulfing our nation was ever on my mind. Finally, on Wednesday, during that day’s last session, I recognized I had to form a plan to act. This is my beginning, which I shared Thursday in my closing remarks to the conferees:
“For nearly 30 minutes they streamed by my State House office window overlooking Bowdoin Street. The peaceful protesters, many white, mostly young, signs aloft, loudly chanting, many with arms upraised, marching for a righteous cause, filled my eyes with tears and my heart with a jumble of sorrow, hope, guilt, concern, gratitude, and resolve. The knee that indifferently snuffed out the life of George Floyd also unleashed a nation’s collective disgust at and, I hope, determination to directly confront the stain that we have sought to ignore since the founding of our nation. Our persistent, institutionalized racism can no longer be glossed over.
So many individuals through the years have made their contributions to the righting of society’s and government’s wrongs. I have liked to think, and had even managed to convince myself, that I have been on the right side of the moral equation, with my work in my community, with my votes as a legislator, with my actions as the state’s Auditor, pointing out inconsistencies in the criminal justice system and in access to services, and more recently, deficiencies in police training. Whatever good intentions have motivated me, whatever good I actually have done, I now recognize, simply has not been enough to fulfill my obligations to my sisters and brothers of color or my country.
I have it within my power as a human being to be a stronger voice, to lend a firmer hand. I have it within my power as an employer to set still higher standards, to instill greater awareness, and to provide a better example. I have it within my power as an elected official to contribute to a better understanding of the ways that our government institutions fail to recognize and repair the damage inflicted by centuries of injustice. All those things and more I can, must, and will do.”