Order by Executive Constantine honors the nine people killed in the shootings at a South Carolina church
"Our country has experienced so many mass shootings in recent years. We are shocked. We are devastated. But we are no longer surprised. Still, the horrific acts at an historic black church in South Carolina carry a particularly painful meaning.
"It is tempting to think that racism – which, by his own words, motivated this terrorist's actions – is a blight particular to other places, like the former Confederacy. Surely here, in the highly educated, future oriented, globally connected Northwest, we can confidently model the ideal of Martin Luther King, that people will be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
"The truth, though, is that even here, in a county named for Dr. King, where we work each day to wring from the fabric of society the bias that warps our liberties and our prospects, the artificial construct of race is still powerful -- a top predictor of a person’s health, wealth, life expectancy and incarceration. That is why it is so critical that we not merely profess but diligently advance our principles of equity and social justice.
"I have ordered that flags at King County will be lowered through Monday evening out of respect for the nine victims of the Charleston massacre. Yet we can best honor their memory not through words or gestures, but through the actions we take each day as we pursue our vision of a truly just and equitable society."