Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Violence is Unacceptable in the USA

There is no legitimate excuse for the violence, burning, looting, destruction of property and intentional attacks on state, local and federal officers in our cities. The Constitution affords each citizen the right of assembly and peaceful protest. However, despite the rhetoric of liberal mayors, governors, media personalities, elected officials and activists, destruction of personal, municipal, state and federal property is a crime. Perpetrators should be prosecuted and ordered to pay restitution. 

I understand that people are angry about the death of George Floyd. I understand that everyone in America wants to be heard. I agree that racism is wrong, that there are lingering attitudes among individuals that are offensive, that there are some police officers that abuse authority, that there are still strides to be made for equality. However, we will not achieve equality, harmony, and fairness as long as there are any segregated groups, communities, pageants, congressional caucuses, quotas, census questions or focus on race, country of origin, religion, sexual orientation or any other label.

Despite the fact that I grew up in a small town in Indiana in the 1960s and 1970s that was not particularly diverse, my parents raised me to accept each person for who he or she was, to treat each person with respect, to be kind, and to not judge another until I’d walked a mile in his/her shoes. My husband and most of my friends were raised the same way. We cannot fathom that there is systemic racism in this country. Think about the progress that has been made and that will continue to be made. 

I’ve lived in countries where I was a minority and treated as such. I was a quota hire as a woman in the insurance industry in 1980. I want to believe that we Americans, collectively as a nation, do not subscribe to racism, discrimination, or judgments of people- unless the individual is an asshole. That is a different conversation. 

But really, give peace a chance. Open your minds. Consider opposing views. Have a conversation without shouting. Let go of anger. And become engaged in the political process at the local level. That is where serious changes begin. 

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