STATEMENT BY THE U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CAMEROON

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Speaking for all colleagues at the U.S. embassy, we are outraged by the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor.  Their lives mattered and their loss is a tragedy.

Americans are now confronting the results of several centuries of persistent and systematic inequality suffered by entire groups of our citizens.  In this moment, many Americans from all backgrounds are choosing to pursue the betterment of our nation and the ideals of justice upon which it was founded.  They are using their freedoms of expression and assembly to engage in peaceful protests; a small number have resorted to violence, which is neither acceptable nor constructive.  This challenging moment invites us to reckon with a history of discrimination against minority groups and reinvigorate our commitment to fundamental rights and freedoms.

The preamble of the U.S. Constitution calls on Americans to come together “to form a more perfect union,” recognizing that democracy entails a continuous struggle to fulfill its ideals.  We must engage in the frank, open, and difficult process of identifying our flaws, correcting course, and moving toward a more just and equitable society for all Americans.  As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Justice is what America is now pursuing for Mr. Floyd, Mr. Arbery, and Ms. Taylor.  Investigations are underway in all cases.  Mr. Floyd’s killer was charged with murder in days.  Every American official from the Minneapolis Police Chief to the President of the United States has vowed to deliver justice for him.  Accountability of security forces is essential in every society.

The commitment to our country’s highest ideals of racial equality, freedom, justice, transparency, and dignity for all persons is the spirit that guides our engagement with foreign governments around the world, our desire to advocate for the fundamental freedoms of all people across the globe, and our friendship toward all the people of Cameroon.