LETTER TO THE EDITOR: June 3, 2020
From the BCHRTF:
We are so proud of our community for carrying out a peaceful protest yesterday in response to the terrible death of George Floyd and the countless number of other black men (and women) who have died as a result of police violence. We are heartened to see reports of peaceful protests in other cities as well where police officers march arm in arm or “take a knee” with protestors.
It was great to see such a strong presence of young people who felt strongly enough about this issue to add their voices to the protest. Some of the signs they carried said “Silence = Violence.” They were right—it is time to speak up and step up! It was encouraging also to see those who attended with guns, with the purpose of keeping peace, associating with the protesters—each recognizing and respecting each other’s rights.
We heard that this was the case in Coeur d’Alene as well, where armed men stood on one side of Sherman Ave. with protesters on the other. The news reported that there was conversation between them and mutual respect.
This is Diversity in North Idaho! What a great degree of progress it would represent if we can continue to talk to each other—regardless of the labels we wear as a result of others’ perceptions—understand better where each one is coming from and respect our constitutional right to disagree.
Martin Luther King, who absolutely denounced violence as a means of bringing about social change, also said that “A riot is the language of the un-heard… America has failed to learn that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality and humanity….our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay…Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.”
It is important that we talk to each other; it is even more important that we learn to listen. May this continue to happen in North Idaho!