Letter: Don’t be divided in this perilous time
On May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard killed four Kent State students during a campus protest against the American invasion of Cambodia. This infamous watershed event was chronicled by Crosby, Stills and Nash in their insightful and seminal song, “For What It’s Worth.”
The lyrics depict people carrying signs that “mostly say, hooray for our side.” Now, again in America, opposing sides confront one another across a great divide, while evermore true is the maxim, united we stand, divided we fall.
The lyrics unarguably affirm, “Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.” Still, noble dedicated police that honor their oath to serve and protect, are grouped indiscriminately with police that callously disrespect the rights of citizens, sometimes to the extreme of murdering them in public view. Protesters that merely exercise their constitutional right to assemble to voice their objections to the status quo and demand change, are grouped indiscriminately with rioters that senselessly destroy property, loot, and attack police.
It’s a most perilous time for the future of American democracy, a time that calls on us to reach across this ever-widening divide and unite — for divided, we fall.
Peaceful protesters should unite with law enforcement, because it is right, and assist them — report rioters, photograph them, and be forthcoming with any evidence or testimony that assist bringing rioters to justice. Law enforcement should unite with protesters, because it is right, and protect them from abuse while exercising their lawful rights, and assist bringing to justice those in their ranks that misuse their power.
My sign says, “Hooray for both sides” that choose to live in a free and just democratic republic and therefore summon the courage to rightly unite to stand up to those whose words and deeds divide us.
For what it’s worth.
— Robert W. Ramsey, Grand Lake
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