To the editor,
On Friday June 12, Brandenburg was abuzz with agitated energy. Mayor Joyner
had announced that the city and law enforcement was aware of a Black Lives
Matter protest planned for that evening. Business owners rushed to board up their storefronts, as one put it: “We prepared for the worst case scenarios andprayed for the best case scenarios.” The “scenario” that evening made me heartsick. People in camouflage, turning out with military-style weapons, saying they were there to keep things under control. Hostility electrifying the atmosphere. Even worse: the presence of the KKK. The hub of all this defensiveness, of course, was the monument. Its power to bring out the worst in our population was clearly on display that night. Since investing in this tribute to the racist cause of the confederacy, Brandenburg contradicts its claims of virtue.
Contrast this scenario with the small town in eastern, Kentucky: Whitesburg. On June 12, Mountain Top News reported that a peaceful Black Lives Matters protest
was planned. On the street, a microphone was provided for the speakers. Citizens gathered — and listened. People observed flowers being laid, in remembrance of loss. Later, demonstrators marched, declaring: “No Justice, No Peace,” as is being done all over the nation. All over the globe, in fact.
It is high time we lay down our defensive resistance — and listen. Just as important, let us work steadily toward the “best case scenario” for all.
A saddened Meade County native