Braden Lenzy: Dear America

By Braden Lenzy

Braden Lenzy is a wide receiver on the Notre Dame Football team. A rising junior, Lenzy hails from Tigard, Ore.


Dear America,

As a mixed man and someone who identifies as black, I want you to know, I’m in pain. For years this pain has grown within me, but I can no longer stay silent. None of us can. Look around the world, look outside, or look at social media. Is this what we want?

Are we so blind as a nation to neglect such a large portion of our country we claim is “the home of the free,” that we won’t admit that everyone isn’t free?

As I woke up today, I felt the need to truly speak up. The nation I grew up loving is failing, and justice has yet to be served. George Floyd’s tragic death struck the hearts of all black men and women around the world, and it forced us to take action. 

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I beg of you, please do not look at the riots and looting as an issue for this country. For so long the issues and crimes that Black men and women have endured have been overlooked by White America. Look at these actions as a cry for help. We are drowning in a sea of neglect and are desperately trying to swim. We demand justice. 

We have come to a point in time where silence is no longer acceptable. The hashtags will no longer cut it. The police brutality that we have endured for my entire life must come to a stop. No one man or woman was created above the other, and it’s time our nation reflects that. 



White Americans must speak up and stand by our Black brothers and sisters before it is too late. We need you to hear us. We need this nation to hear us. Hear our cries for justice. Hear me. Lend a listening ear. Stand with the Black community. Demand justice for the Black lives of this nation.

My Black brothers and sisters, I feel your pain within me. I feel your anger. I feel your desire for justice. We must express our thoughts and never fall victim to racism. It has always been an uphill battle since birth, as many of you have come to know and experience. But that is what makes us so special. We know pain and we know the grind. We are so strong that I know in my heart, with time this issue can be settled. But for now, we speak up and we get justice for George Floyd, as well as all the others who have been unjustly taken from us.

I ask you this, America: show love and seek justice. No matter who you are, you can play a role. Peacefully protesting, donating to this cause, or even having a simple conversation with someone who needs it is doing so much. But I strongly urge you to make an effort. Do what is right. Take the steps needed that our fallen Black brothers and sisters should have experienced before they were taken from us. Don’t let the media sway you away from the biggest issue. We need everyone. We truly need you all. We are in pain and we need you. Please stand with us. 


– Braden Lenzy

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