Chicago businessman and philanthropist Willie Wilson will be meeting this week with law enforcement and community leaders to discuss ways to enact substantive changes to make life more equitable and just for all citizens.
“Now is the time for compassionate leadership and proposals that unite rather than divide,” Wilson said. “I am confident that our greater angels of justice and righteousness will prevail as we seek to unite our great city and state.
Wilson said that he would also be meeting with protest leaders in Chicago to help them understand the importance of demonstrating in peace and having an agenda to make life more equitable.
He noted that civil right leader Martin Luther King Jr. said that riots are the voice of the unheard. Wilson said he wanted rioters to know that he shared their frustration and hears their voice.
“That being said violence is not the answer to police brutality, income equality, unemployment, hopelessness, and racial health disparities,” Wilson said. “The answer is not any eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth. If we practice that form of retaliation, we will all be blind and toothless.”
Wilson said the solutions can be found in organizing, voting, peaceful demonstrations, prayer, and running for public office.
“Dr. King was right when he said that love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend,” he said.
He said the policies of inequity during the last 400 years must be addressed through nonviolent and peaceful protest.
“The destruction and devastation of businesses, and assaulting law enforcement officers cause greater injustice and pain,” Wilson said. “In 1968, I participated in demonstrations after the death of Dr. King. The nonviolent civil rights demonstration produced several landmark laws.”