I remember growing up and my mom explaining to me that just because someone looks different than you, doesn't mean they are a bad person or that you shouldn't like them. I learned very young that my cousin Kelly who has special needs was different, but that didn't bother me because I loved her. She and I are still extremely close and I am one of her biggest fans. This was the same when I went to school and I would see kids who had a different color skin than I did. It didn't matter to me because they were nice

Where I went to high school, it wasn't incredibly diverse, but we still had a mix of different races and backgrounds. I was basically friends with everyone. I was a cheerleader and I played softball, but I was also in the chorus, and participated in musicals. So there was a wide range of kids that I interacted with on a daily basis. Whether white, black, Asian, Spanish, gay, straight, it didn't matter to us when we were up on that stage singing our hearts out, or playing on a softball field or cheering on our football players. We were friends because we all had common interests and we cared about each other.

When I graduated high school in 2005, I attended community college and lived at home in Middlesex with my Dad. I got a job working as a hostess at Applebees in Bridgewater and would soon be trained as a server. It was there that I met Suma. Suma was black and unlike anyone I had ever known in my life. She was never afraid to speak her mind, she was kind and boy was she funny. She and I quickly became very close and were soon side by side every shift. We even both decided we wanted to leave Applebees and go work at Houlihan's in Bridgewater. Soon those managers quickly realized how close we were and we were always getting yelled at for talking too much. But, we were besties and nothing would ever change that. I do remember going to parties or our family's houses with her and sometimes being the only white girl and sometimes she was the only black girl there. I wasn't sure how they'd treat me or treat her, or how they would all react. Would they accept me?  Would they accept her? Would they accept our friendship? I quickly realized that we never had anything to worry about and she quickly became another member of my family. We even made another addition when her daughter Lynn was born and she made me her Godmother. I was so honored and little Lynn soon became part of our family as well. I would get so many looks when I would have Lynn for the day and we'd be out shopping, or I'd post pictures of her on Facebook, but I didn't care. She was a member of our family and I would do anything to keep her safe and make sure she has a happy life, which is why this week has been extremely hard for me.

Watching television and being on the internet over the last week has been heartbreaking. George Floyd being mistreated by a police officer that knelt on his neck and then dying later on, was a huge wake up call to the world. I honestly could not believe my eyes when I watched the video and I was sick to my stomach. I have many friends and family in law enforcement and let me tell you, they were completely sickened by what they saw as well. When you take the oath to become a police officer, you vow to serve and protect. George Floyd was not protected and I know that many other people of color have been in the same predicament. Police officers are supposed to protect us and no one should fear for their life when they are being pulled over or placed under arrest. I have felt so good seeing peaceful protests and seeing police officers standing in solidarity with people. They know what their fellow brother in blue did was wrong and they do not want to be put in the same category as him.

We all need to stand together because we are stronger when we stand together. We need to do better! We need to fix the problems of racism in this country and it's long overdue. We need to do it for the people who have been victims and we need to do it for our children, so they don't grow up in a world full of hate and discrimination.

One of the core principles of 94.5 PST and Townsquare Media is "You Matter." This speaks to our commitment to our employees and our community. On Tuesday, June 2, we stopped regular programming to join with the music industry's #TheShowMustBePaused initiative on Blackout Tuesday. Our staff used the time to reflect upon our feelings and how we plan to be apart of a culture of change. Click here to read more. The above represents some of Tiffany's reflections from that day.

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