Comments added fuel to national debate
I am the lead pastor at Faith United Methodist Church. I read a report containing an offensive comment by County Councilman Larry Brown in reference to local protesters seeking reforms to stop the unjustified killing of black people in America: “As uneducated as they are, obviously, on local government, they do vote, and unfortunately they also breed.”
Use of the word “breed, which typically describes procreation by animals, implies the protesters are subhuman. What could have possessed a public servant to make such an unseemly declaration, especially now? Our country is already in a state of chaos and confusion due to centuries of systemic racism and oppression of African Americans. Brown's ill-advised comments only make matters worse.
We cannot move forward as a community when intolerance, bias and bigotry are shamelessly exhibited by an elected official. Verbal abuse of the protesters should not and will not be tolerated. Brown was right about one thing: Voting is still a right we may exercise in our democracy to remove those from office who aren't there to serve all the people.
Black Lives movement needs wider consciousness
Black Lives Matter managed to destroy 17 and a half years of peaceful protest and goodwill on the Allen County Courthouse Green in days.
When I led the challenge to restrictions on the Courthouse Green in 2003, I never envisioned such disrespect and stupidity.
I am beyond disappointed. Actions speak louder than words. Arson, vandalism and looting have stained the good work of black and white racial justice activists.
Fort Wayne for Peace has had no problem with Fort Wayne police, Allen County deputies or Indiana State Police in almost 200 rallies. Police have been known to wave as they drove by our protests.
We were not protesting the death of one man or even thousands; we were protesting the death of millions in our wars for oil.
There is no true morality without perspective.
The George Floyd rallies were foolish from the start. The Minneapolis policeman who murdered Floyd was fired, in jail and charged with murder before the May 29 rally in Fort Wayne. Floyd received more justice than many black men murdered by other black men.
I understand the frustration and anger of black people about police misconduct. I'm still trying to understand violent anger from young white people.
I believe groups like BLM actually need to expand their consciousness. There are many justice issues. The concept of justice should be more than justice for people who look like you or with whom you identify.
People exercising their First Amendment freedom need to understand their rights and responsibilities. It doesn't apply to private property. We do not have the right to block streets or public sidewalks. Civil disobedience is a gray area, but if I were blocking the street I would expect to be arrested.
Founder, Fort Wayne for Peace
CHEERS to Christopher Snider. In his letter published June 17 in The Journal Gazette (“Our 'new normal' stems from lack of respect”), he had the courage to write what many of us have been thinking. Way to go, Christopher!