Racism is evil. It cannot and should not be tolerated.
And remember: Not all law-enforcements officers are racist.
As speakers at the commendable peaceful protest June 6 at City Hall said, we need unity — among races, among people of different backgrounds, among everyone. No one should ever judge or mistreat another person because of that person’s skin color. No one should ever judge or mistreat another person because of that person’s uniform.
We at the Observer believe in equality, unity and the right of every human to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We’re appalled at the callous, immoral treatment of George Floyd; at the stories we’ve heard of cruelty inflicted on people because of skin color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or other non-reasons; and at the very existence of racism and injustice in our society and the deaths and pain they’ve caused.
To people of color: We see you; we are listening. You are our neighbors and peers, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We stand with you.
Our pages are one place to tell your stories, educate the community, share your vision and have an open discussion. Equality and justice need to be everyone’s cause.
Send us letters and columns. Tell us about your events so we can put them in our calendar and/or cover them. If you have evidence of a pattern of racism at a community institution that needs to be exposed in order to be changed, let us know so we can help bring exposure.
To our local law enforcement officers who refuse to harbor or engage in racism — which we believe is the vast majority of them here — to the ones who fight every day to protect the life, liberty and ability to pursue happiness of every resident, regardless of skin color: We don’t blame you for the terrible wrongs committed by other people who wear similar uniforms. Each individual should be held accountable for his or her own actions, not for the actions of others.
We’ve seen the diversity among your ranks. We’ve seen you risk your own wellbeing to protect others. We’ve seen you make extra efforts to build relationships with residents, brighten children’s birthdays with parades and support local nonprofits.
We still believe in you. We still support you.
We don’t believe law enforcement should be defunded. We’d be happy to see our local agencies get more money for better training, equipment and manpower, although we know that’s likely infeasible with pandemic-tightened budgets. We need good officers to protect our communities.
This isn’t a time to be divided based on race, job title or any description that falls short of the content of a person’s character. We need to unite, not tear each other down, because as American hero Martin Luther King Jr. said, the destinies of black and white people — and those of other races — are tied together.
As he also said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Be the light; give the love. It leads to a better place for us all.