Statement by Ambassador Harry Harris

“I am deeply troubled about the events surrounding the brutal killing of George Floyd in Minnesota and the ongoing aftermath. I hurt to see our Nation going through such difficult times. Most demonstrators across the U.S. today are formed in peaceful protests against racism, bigotry and hatred. I stand with them. I share the conviction that those beliefs have no place in our society.

As an Asian American who was reared in the segregated South of the 1960s, I never thought I would see this happening again, especially in the 21st Century. But I believe in America and her people. I know what makes our country strong. I believe that diversity is a strength, not a weakness. I believe that America, like all of us, is resilient. I believe that America is still that “city on a hill” about which President Reagan spoke so eloquently.

To be clear, however, I do not stand with those who use peaceful protest as a cover for vandalism, mayhem, and wanton destruction. And to those voices — and there are some, already — who take perverse pleasure in what is happening in America today…to them I say we’ll emerge a better country and a stronger democracy … and we won’t forget. I am confident that by approaching these events transparently, under the twin spotlights of the law and a free press, the United States will emerge a better country and a stronger ally in our 244-year experiment in democracy.”