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Violence is never the answer

By Ben Rodgers

No one reading this is in preschool, but advice from America’s neighbor Fred Rogers could help a nation seemingly bogged down in never-ending turmoil.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping,’” Rogers said.

After the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of Derek Chauvin, a white man then employed by the Minneapolis Police Department, the nation started to burn.

The mistreatment of minorities by law enforcement has been going on for decades, and with a population that has been told for more than two months to essentially stay to themselves, a spark in Minneapolis was all it took to ignite a blaze.

Days after, protests happened across the country, even here in Green Bay, and most were peaceful until a few were not.

Some police chiefs stood with protesters saying they understood concerns.

In other cities, department stores were looted with people taking everything from LEGOS to air fryers.

One of these methods will work. The other will get more people killed.

I’m not an expert on race relations, but I know non-peaceful protests won’t work.

Violence begets violence.

History was changed by Martin Luther King Jr., after a years-long struggle that was waged peacefully.

It upset people so much that the only way to silence him was with violence, when what he preached was love, tolerance and understanding.

The editor in me understands what’s happening now will go down as another chapter in history, and to ignore it would be a disservice.

But if people want systematic change, burning down family-owned businesses and throwing rocks at police vehicles won’t achieve it.

The Civil Rights Movement lasted for more than 20 years, and at times it was a nightmare, but it worked.

The problem is right now we are being bombarded by a torrent of violence whenever we pick up a phone, or turn on the TV and stop living the life right in front of us.

Mainstream media at no other point in history has been so widespread and far reaching.

TV reports on whatever gets the most eyeballs, which isn’t people cleaning up after the riots, and removing graffiti.
Tolerance and understanding doesn’t attract viewers, so it will go unreported.

The helpers are being ignored as cities burn, so it’s harder than ever to look for those coming to the rescue.

But the helpers are out there, and hopefully more people will understand the only way to successfully meet the forces of hate is with the power of love.

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