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What Are We Doing, America?

By Tina Ray, Legal Assistant

Let me preface this by saying: I am a white woman who lives in Greensboro, NC.  I have not been, nor will I ever be an African American or any other race.  But, above all I am an American, a human, a person with feelings, opinions and values.   I respect the fact that other AMERICANS have set out to build lives for themselves, build their businesses and good lives for their families.

Things don’t always go the way we think they should. People don’t always act the way that we believe they should act.  The ones that are supposed to protect us sometimes make mistakes.  Sometimes, the wrong people are in positions of authority.  Maybe they instinctually make a fatal mistake.  Maybe it’s not a mistake; maybe they shouldn’t be in the position that they are in. This can and does happen to people of all colors, races and creeds.  When this does happen, does it automatically give Americans permission to tear apart what other Americans have built?  How does this prove a point?  How does it make us any better than the act that we are protesting?

Obviously, I have a lot of questions.

I grew up believing that my friends, no matter what color, were my friends. I didn’t think about not playing with someone because they were different.  It was based even then on how they treated me.  As I got older, I began to realize that some people didn’t necessarily think that way.  However, it went both ways then, and still does now.  It became obvious that some people were raised, both black and white, thinking that there was a difference because of skin color.  It’s still up to you to make the decisions that you make and treat people the way you treat them.  Don’t blame it on others.

Everyone has a right to their own opinion. But, that does NOT give anyone a right to tear down what someone else has built.  Some call this “protesting.”  People please.  What are we doing?  How does this help anything?   How can you actually justify hurting or killing someone else or burning and looting buildings and businesses that belong to someone you don’t know??  What does this prove to anyone?  I have never ever thought of destroying another person or thing because I don’t agree with something.  How can this be the way to “fix” the situation.  Some people say that talking about it doesn’t help.  That could be because we are talking AT each other.

WAKE UP!!! We are destroying ourselves.  WE are destroying our cities.  Take responsibility for YOUR actions.  What will you prove by setting a police car on fire or shooting at strangers?  How does that help your family?  How does that make YOU any better than the police officer that shoots someone while on the job, whether mistakenly or justified. We, as Americans, not black people or white people, need to set good examples and teach our kids the right way to handle things that we don’t agree with.

Americans need to build each other up, not tear each other down. PEOPLE need to treat other PEOPLE with respect.  When you see the violence in other countries on television, do you believe that all of that killing is justified?  We in America think we are better than them.  How is that when we are killing and rioting in the streets and destroying what others have built?  If we don’t learn how to cope with daily issues in America, America won’t survive.