Seek unity, not division
Three weeks ago I sent the following letter to the Lynchburg School Board:
Dear Members of the School Board,
Our family had an unexpected topic come up at dinner last night. Our 11 year old was excited about going to Linkhorne Middle School next year.
But, she said, in the video that they were shown, there was a policeman in an office with a large “Blue Lives Matter” poster, “almost covering one wall”. The child said, ”My jaw dropped. Isn’t that what is the opposite of Black Lives Matter? I thought that school was supposed to be neutral.”
Let me unpack that. First, since she was a 5 year old, she has had the vocabulary and the cliches of an adult. Second, she has just lived through the months of George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Breonna Taylor, Eddy Gray, Atatiana Jefferson, Andrew Brown, Ma'Khia Bryant, 13 year old Adam Toledo, and literally hundreds of others, who died, unbelievably, at the hands of police officers!
She has seen the demonstrations of Black Lives Matter. She has seen the “counter-protesters” with their signs. She was alarmed by what she saw in her future school.
My granddaughter is White. Can you imagine how a Black child would react ? There is a reason that most Black people feel terror at the sight of a uniformed policeman. This incident is a concrete example of why many of us do not want armed police in our schools.
I was grateful that the school administration understood and responded immediately. They know what the Blue Lives Matter flag has come to represent in our country.
Now I see that Mr. [Ward IV City Councilman Chris] Faraldi is attempting to make this another divisive attack on our school administration.
Does he really not understand that Blue Lives Matter has become a slogan of extremism, of racism, of white nationalism?
Did he not see that flag flying, along with the Confederate flag, in Charlottesville, or with the “Proud Boys” and the “Oath Keepers” at the attack on our nation’s Capitol?
Does Mr. Faraldi not know that many administrative and judicial bodies have already banned the use of that flag? Portland, Oregon; Cincinnati, Ohio; Hingham, Massachusetts; Middletown, Connecticut; Madison, Wisconsin; Ottawa; Toronto; Sussex, England, just to name a few.
Rather than seeking issues that might divide the community, why isn’t Mr. Faraldi trying to bring us together and improve the lives of all of our community?