It takes an act of courage to speak out
Bravo to the editor and staff of The Calvert Recorder for having the courage to clearly articulate what many of us are feeling today [“Debating statues, condemning hate,” Aug. 30].
I never thought I’d have to speak those words in the United States of America in 2017.
However, it has become clear in the last several weeks that it takes an act of courage to speak out against the words and policies of our political leaders.
There will be many who take umbrage with this editorial — as they will continue to defend this president, regardless of how many times he has shown us who he is. They were fine with his mocking of a disabled reporter, denigrating entire groups of people (Mexicans, Muslims, women) and bitterly attacking anyone who has a differing opinion. Quite frankly, I’ve seen the latter behavior from a few of our local politicians.
As someone who has lived through the Jim Crow era, I clearly remember being frightened by “Welcome to Klan Country” billboards in North Carolina, seeing “white” or “colored” signs at water fountains and re- strooms and, worst of all, hearing of the lynching of African-American men and the bombing of an African-American church in the 1960s.
People fought and lost their lives in order to win rights that should have been applicable to all U.S. citizens long before the implementation of the Civil Rights Act. Brave men and women also lost their lives defeating the Nazis in World War II. We cannot afford to go back. We cannot. This nation was built on the strengths of our individuals — regardless of race, religion, gender or ethnicity. Together we are unbeatable.
There must be no ambiguity on this issue. None. It should be crystal clear to all of us that neo-Nazis, white supremacists and the KKK are not welcome in the United States. On that, we should all agree. As the editorial stated, “Condemning hate groups … is the easiest thing to do.”
Since it is unconstitutional to outlaw these groups, it is imperative that we all employ our better angels to stand up and speak out against them and all they represent — regardless of what our politicians say.
Chris Cummings, Dowell