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Know ill tell you probably like you and tanya. Dawn and i were were were watching the events unfold last night. You know well past midnight and we were were shocked saddened.
But ill tell you there was a one point where where i also mentioned it dawn. We probably dont completely understand it because you and i have had different life experiences growing up you know almost every room. Ive walked into has been full of me and the systems that we operate in are sort of designed by me for me and so i think the airmen and everyone be really interested in sort of within your thoughts of you as you and tanya watched this unfold.
I mean what were your thoughts yes. I you know ive been really outraged for not just the last week. But but for you know it drew up a lot of a lot of rage and a lot of anger from from the past because ive just watched this over and over and over again.
And i not only see myself and george floyd. I see my two sons see the young airmen in our air force this this could happen to to any of us. I think i talked to you one time before about you know the fear.
I have when im driving down whether its the beltway or any street around here and i see blue lights. Because i think doesnt matter if im the chief or whomever. And frankly it doesnt really matter if i do everything right.
This has been a tough tough week for me just kind of thinking about this and and my my greatest fear is not for myself. Is that i wake up one day in one of our airmen will be george floyd or tamir rice or you know you you feel and oh castillo you name the person so its its been tough. But but i also realized that one its okay for us to be angry.
Its okay for me to be angry. But but at some point. I then have to decide okay what next.
And what what should we be doing doing about it what conversations should should we be having. I realize. This is a tough race is a tough for a lot of us for a lot of our commanders out in the field.
You know what would you recommend to to them in terms of how to talk about this with their in yeah. You know its its about its about creating a comfortable space to have this difficult difficult dialogue that very often because its so difficult we avoid it and it may be the one big opportunity thats been presented to us in this tragedy is to stop walking by the problem. How do we i mean you what are your thoughts on this.
I mean how do we create a safe space for this discussion. And oh. By the way.
This is not a one discussion right we didnt get here overnight. Were not gonna get better overnight. This is weeks and months of engagement at every echelon of command to create the safe space for greater understanding.
I mean any thoughts on you know or our command teams ought to be thinking about yeah. I think you know i hear commanders you know say all the time. I hear leaders of commanders chiefs first sergeants say.
All the time that one of their strengths is the ability to have tough conversations and and whatnot well now is the time to prove it right these conversations are difficult theyre tough. But they are necessary i mean you have to be able to talk about this really you have to i think more than talk about you got to be willing to listen to how how our black airmen feel about not just this situation. But how they feel in general and i think if we all strived to that to gain better understanding to understand our airmen to acknowledge that we do have a problem in our air force that we have to get after thats our thats our role as leaders you said and ill tell you i know i speak for 685000.
Airmen. Who are just thrilled that youre our chief thanks for that yes sir thank you lots of work to be done. .
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