Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Sunday vigil in Washington Park

A GATHERING IS planned for Sunday in Washington Park at 4 p.m. It's being organized by the newly-formed Adams County Coalition For Racial Equality. Sheryl and I hope the gathering will promote unity and help address the great racial divide in this country. It will show support for George Floyd and will show how we won't tolerate hatred, ignorance and inequality in this country, this state, this county or this city.

The gathering will be peaceful. Call it whatever you want - protest, call for change, candle-light vigil (even at 4 in the afternoon), march, etc. It doesn't matter. We all have the right to gather and protest, and the event needs to focus on what we can do as a community.

Law enforcement has been notified of the gathering. I really hope we see some participation from Quincy Police, Adams County Sheriff and Illinois State Police officers and brass. There is no need for a line to be drawn and hate-driven anger spewed at them. The law enforcement officers I am friends with know we can do better and we need to address this and communicate, not tear gas innocent people and fire rubber bullets into peaceful protests.

It amazes me, all the paranoia going on around here. I won't tell people to relax, but I will say we need to be part of the solutions and part of the dialogue to make this a better place to live. For those that try to say "All Lives Matter"... If all lives mattered we would not have to protest to make sure Black Lives Matter.

Of course, I'm against the violence and looting that's taken place in larger cities. Sheryl and I are property and business owners. But the systematic oppression of people of color has long been a problem in our society and we need to be better. We. Need. To. Be. Better.

I pray the event goes well and voices will be heard, and we can all be better off for it.

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