Letter to the editor: 'May we open fists of anger to extend a hand of fellowship'
With the increasing awareness society has gained of racial inequalities in American institutions, it becomes incumbent upon us, as responsible citizens, to address the problem rationally.
The rise of the Black Lives Matter movement has led to an ever-increasing polarization of the political spectrum and has sparked much controversy. Extremists from both the right and the left question the motives and methods of their perceived adversaries. This is not helpful.
Polarization does not lead to constructive dialogue that brings about lasting, equitable change. It is unfortunate to witness areas of agreement that once flourished now becoming politicized.
Recently, the Black Lives Matter flag has flown at Gresham's City Hall. This was not done as an endorsement of one political ideology over another, but rather as a show of solidarity with the entire notion of ending racist practices in our community.
I support the cause of racial unity and wish to ally myself with those who are willing to meet peacefully and constructively to rectify the wrongs of past governance. I believe in a moderate approach. Change requires listening,
speaking honestly, and keeping an open mind about solutions going forward.
In supporting the display of the Black Lives Matter flag I am not aligning myself with every value or principle ever articulated by leaders of the movement. However, I do believe the movement articulates patriotism in its truest form; it furthers the founding fathers' declaration that all men are created equal. I believe in the principles of economic and societal freedom that allow all to strive for upward mobility in pursuit of the American Dream. In order for that dream to become a reality, it is in our best interest to support the retraining and maintaining of a well-equipped police force, one that is aware of and sensitive to the needs, varied biases, and legitimate concerns of the community at large.
May we come together with open minds and hearts to find a path forward that advances the well-being, safety and opportunity of all our citizens without treading on the civil liberties upon which our nation and community were founded. May we open fists of anger to extend a hand of fellowship to the people around us, recognizing that we can only progress if we're willing to move together.
Gresham City Councilor
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