Too much hatred, too many entitlements

Published 9:08 pm Monday, October 12, 2015

By Costellar Ledbetter

I apologize for the delay in sharing my thoughts about the massacre that took place in June in Charleston, S.C.

I wrote this letter in June, shortly after the tragedy happened. The mere thought of this incident made my heart drop for those innocent persons who were murdered. Now, months have passed and I am still heartbroken that anyone could commit an act this heinous.

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I am still asking myself why anyone would have such evil thoughts as necessary to cold-bloodedly murder those individuals.

The shooter said he did it because they were black. He said black people are robbing and raping white women and trying to take over the nation. But that is far from the truth, and it’s a lie that must not proliferate in our society.

I ask myself how such a youthful young man could have so much evil and hatred. Our Creator did not bring us into this world loving or hating — these are learned behaviors.

Sadly, there are some individuals who do not realize that our Creator made us all without biases regarding color or creed. This is 2015, and I would never have imagined that this much racism could exist in our country today.

Another important point is this: When we have tragedies of this nature, we should concentrate on the victims and not as much on the murderers. We should focus, instead, on the families — those left behind. Frankly, I am appalled to see so much media coverage of the murderers and hardly any mention of those affected by these ungodly acts.

We all must come together and strategize about how we are going to conquer this problem.

As president of the local branch of Nansemond-Suffolk NAACP, one of my duties is to step in for those in need. We are the oldest civil rights organization in the world. Our mission is to treat all people with dignity, respect and honor and to protect their civil rights when they are discriminated against.

One strategy might be to get all city leaders together in small groups to discuss how we can conquer this problem. Notice I said “conquer” the problem; I did not say try.

Since I am a believer, I know the problem can be conquered if we pray about it and put our trust in our Savior. We must get away from all of the entitlements and favoritism that exist in our city. These entitlements come via specific groups, individuals and specific organizations.

Also, those of us that are advocates for the community must step out and be heard as advocates. We have many people in the community who are not knowledgeable enough to be advocates, so those who can must come to the table to help all people.

I know this will not be an easy task, but I believe it can be accomplished with faith and an execution of worthy sustainable plans.

Costellar Ledbetter is president of the Nansemond-Suffolk branch of the NAACP. Email her at