We currently seem to living in a time where we each think our opinions mean something, I type away ironically doing the same thing here in this column. And our opinions do mean something, but they do not mean they are right and certainly don't mean they are the truth.
But what can we take from all of this? What good can we grow out of this tragedy and our selfishness of opinions?
Everyone comes into this life similarly but not with the same exact everything. We each have some sort of genetic defect or identifying something or other that will give us a different perspective than everyone else. And then we grow up learning from different people with different perspectives and it just goes on and on how different we are. How different, different circumstances make us from one another. It can be broken down beyond race, ethnicity or gender. We are each individual.
But this country gives us something not every country does - within our individuality we are all equal.
What a concept that is is you really think about it.
Flotd's death was hard to take and it spurred the most prolonged protesting seen since the 60s and early 70s. Some were more than protest, they were meant to inform us of needed change and how we can go about that change. Some places are listening, some are holding their ground that the problem isn't in racist systemic problems, but societal ones. In either case we're at least talking about it.
The nation began to wake up and it is showing us that it is pissed we haven't figured out some basic understandings yet that were laid out almost 250 years ago.
Floyd wasn't the only one to die senselessly this past year, but his helpless pleas for breath cannot be denied as a cruel, beyond contempt hate crime. Whether it was racial or not, those police officers hated that man enough to not care about his life and used absolutely inappropriate disdainful force to end him.
Across the country people got up and forced us to take notice of Floyd's death and others. Forced us to look at a problem that is very deep and has not been taken care yet despite decade after decade of issues that never get resolved. Sustained protests and violent disruptions to everyday life were taking place all over the country. Even in small towns protestors held rallies, mostly peaceful, but not always. In Meadville, Franklin and Oil City we had rallies that were peaceful, but not without showing the issues we have with race in this country.
Because monuments in other parts of the country were vandalized a group of pretty heavily armed mostly white vigilante types decided to be a presence at the Franklin rally. Did they really think the Franklin police couldn't handle a Franklin size rally? This showed a great divide in how we see race in the area. There was little respect given to the protest organizers in this small town. Oganizers who are known community leaders in families who have long served the county with distinction. Yet the heavily armed gang stood sentry over the local monuments.
We have a long way to go to be perfect in this country. But we're at least talking. We'll see if we can finally put some action behind these words for actual change.