Let’s make America kind again

Published 2:59 pm Friday, July 10, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...
To the Editor:
The July 7th Johnson City Press featured a photo and article on its front page concerning the protest/counter protest in Elizabethton last Saturday. When I looked at the photo, it chillingly reminded me of others similar to the ones in the past such as the ones surrounding Ruby Bridges, the little girl who was the first Black student to try to integrate her school. She was accompanied by National Guard troops and this incident was painted in one of history’s most iconic images by Norman Rockwell. There are countless others — same hatred, same anger…same fear.
But today, we have the Internet and social media, and this photo and article went viral, which, of course, means it has been seen all over the nation and perhaps behind. The group that wanted to protest inequality and injustice were confronted by angry and hateful people shouting things like “white lives matter, white lives are better” and the same person shouted at a Black woman that she was “just a poor little Black girl with a messed up mind.” The anger wasn’t only directed at Black Americans, but also at homosexuals who will “burn in hell.” The protesters were called “monkeys” and one told protesters, “We should have kept you (expletive) as slaves.”
Apparently, many counter protesters were there because someone circulated a story on social media that they were going to burn down the Covered Bridge. This, of course, was totally false and was never the intent, but then, how much of what is posted on social media is actually fact-based these days?
There are thousands of good and decent people in Elizabethton, but we must remember the oft-quoted truism that “All that is needed for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” There are dozens of churches in this town as well, many with large congregations. What happened Saturday is the antithesis of Christian scriptures and teachings of Jesus. He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” Perhaps now would be a good time for the pastors of all these churches to unite with one clear message about the true meaning of Jesus’ words and teachings.
The whole world is watching and has seen what happened on Saturday. If the businesses, Chamber of Commerce and other want people to see what a beautiful town this is with its good people, wonderful schools, and breathtaking surroundings, then now would be a good time to speak out.
Instead of “Make America Great Again,” perhaps we need an alternative goal to “Make America Kind Again.” We as a town, state, and nation are so much better than this.
Susan Peters

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox