A letter to readers

Demonstrators rally Friday in downtown Los Angeles to protest the death of George Floyd.
Nearly 1,000 people gather Friday in downtown Los Angeles to protest the death of George Floyd and to support Black Lives Matter.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Dear Reader,

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd’s breath was forcibly taken away from him, on video, while in police custody.

Since then, protesters in this country, and all over the world, have taken to the streets chanting, “I can’t breathe,” in a COVID-19 pandemic where the viral infection takes lives by shutting down your lungs so you literally cannot breathe.

Doctors and scientists are working on a coronavirus vaccine to save all our lives. We citizens are called upon to confront the racism that takes black lives disproportionately. There is no vaccine for racism or prejudice of any kind.

The 2020 protests recall the 1992 Rodney King unrest in Los Angeles and for us, painfully, the 1976 Soweto uprising. Post-apartheid, South Africa implemented the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, whose work gave voice to the abused and sought to heal the wounds of injustice. We might learn from their example.

The Los Angeles Times, which we acquired two years ago, returning it to local ownership, is proud to tell the stories that inform and educate. Our courageous reporters and photojournalists take untold risks to bring the truth to light. We cannot be bystanders and enablers in a crisis. We must all work toward a peaceful solution so that all Americans can truly be equal under the law.

Peace is hard work, but we can do it. We are the “can do” nation. We are the “can do” state. We are the “can do” city. Black Lives Matter.

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, Executive Chairman
Michele Chan Soon-Shiong