Unity should not require unanimity

Published 10:21 pm Wednesday, August 31, 2016

To the editor:

Friday marks the one-month anniversary of the Unity Walk in downtown Suffolk.

At the beginning we pledged to be open and tolerant of the differing views of others. One of the planners stated that he hoped the event would result in opportunities to have dialogue, action, and build relationships among the diverse segments of our city.

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In emails to parade planners and to a member of clergy I met at the parade, and in a letter to the editor published in this newspaper, I indicated strong support for continuing this important effort.

I believe public dialogues should be conducted in privately owned venues such as churches and community halls. I believe this should be a citizen-based effort, not a government effort.

I have indicated a willingness to speak at such events, presenting very different views regarding social challenges here in Suffolk and the rest of the United States. The unity pledge was unnecessary if differing views are not discussed.

Because of the importance of the unity effort I’m sure the planners are developing opportunities for public dialogues in the near future.

Joseph L. Bass