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The Brandenburg Protest - Why so much hate?

An editorial by Messenger staff member Crystal Leo

I attended the “protest” in downtown Brandenburg last night. To put it simply, I was there for two reasons: One, to be an eyewitness to anything newsworthy that might happen so the Meade County Messenger could report it. And two, if history was going to happen, I wanted to see it for myself.

You see, I love history. It is something I get from my father. He practically lives with the History channel on our television and can explain a lot of things that most people have no clue about. I am also a firm believer of George Santayana’s quote, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Civilizations rise and fall, and if we do not bother to learn why, then we are only dooming our own society to a slow annihilation.

So, what did I learn last night?

Hate and ignorance are still going strongly on both sides of the current dilemma our country finds itself in. I do not have a PHD, nor am I a trained psychologist. However, I do have a firm belief that there are three sides to every story, and somewhere in the middle lies the truth.

Here are the truths I witnessed last night:

Downtown Brandenburg merchants were terrified yesterday. They had been warned of a possible Black Lives Matter protest about the civil war monument on the waterfront and then told they should take precautions to secure their stores and the safety of their employees. Those store owners don’t care if people want to protest for equality. Most of them understand equality is vastly needed. What they don’t want, though, are the violent outbursts that sometimes follow protestors by individuals who are looking to cause trouble.

Windows were boarded, stores were shut down and store owners stood outside their buildings, which encompassed their life’s savings in most cases, with guns, determined to deter anyone who might consider trying to loot or destroy their property.

Did they have a right to do those things? Yes. One hundred percent unequivocal yes. Not just because we have the freedom in the United States to protect our property, but also because one of those property owners was told by authorities that “law enforcement’s focus would be to keep the peace and protect the monument.”

Small business owners were just plum out of luck and had to fend for themselves.

Is that law enforcement’s fault? Maybe yes, maybe no.