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Letter: We must continue discussions about racism
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Hundreds gathered at the Forsyth County Courthouse on Saturday, June 6, 2020, to protest the recent killings of black Americans by police. - photo by Jim Dean

I have just read the Sunday (June 6-7, 2020) FCN editorial by general manager, Norman Baggs. This article, by your GM, was absolutely a masterful piece of writing and party neutral. It was a  piece that got to me in my gut. 

If he is still around, I would like to shake the hand and praise the Georgia State Patrol man, who in 1987, in Cumming, (who also happened to be black,) so as to commend him for his courage, outright valor, and in all honesty, the gutsiness that he manifested to maintain his station while a monumental amount of verbal personal and racial attacks were directed toward him. To me, it was much, much more than his personal restraint. I’m not sure that many, myself included, could have withstood the desire to counter their abuse.

By the same token, it is hard for me to fathom that entire police departments should be tarnished. There are even some voices that would have them totally abolished, due to a relatively limited number of police officers that have performed shockingly un-lawful, and in some cases, horrific acts. 

However, one should not forget, that in the last few years, 600 police officers have lost their lives in the line of duty protecting the very same persons that would have them abolished.

To the peaceful protesters, you, by statute, have a constitutional right to make your feelings heard. And rightly so, maybe even your duty to do so. And those rights differentiate our great nation from a number totalitarian countries that if words of protestations are contrary to that country’s leadership, the person or persons who uttered those words may mysteriously disappear … forever! 

To loot and burn innocent businesses is not at all who we are as a people, even in an anger protestation mode. Innocent people, who at times, spent their entire lives eking out a living, some minority store owners and some individuals who have served in-need neighborhoods are not the kinds of businesses that should be pillaged and burgled. We are better than that. 

We have a problem. Admittedly so. But continued discussions must ensue to achieve positive actions.

Again, I thank the author for his fine and timely editorial.

Lou Belinfante