Amid the conflict, signs of unity

Published 10:08 pm Tuesday, June 9, 2020

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As the writer of Ecclesiastes says, “Two are better than one… If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up! … Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

In other words, we’re better together.

It’s a message that Suffolk should heed as our nation navigates turbulent times and, we hope, seizes the opportunity for transformational change in systemic racism and race relations.

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Amid the largest civil rights movement our country has seen in more than a half-century, it has been refreshing to see faith leaders at the front of the pack in denouncing racism and promoting unity.

The church can often seem like one of the most divided places in our country — with many congregations still essentially segregated by race. Even as we admire peaceful protests in Virginia and beyond, we would be remiss not to praise the power of prayer.

Whether or not you believe in prayer, it has united people for a cause that we should all get behind — loving our neighbors no matter the color of their skin and standing up against injustices.

As the Scripture says, two are better than one, and three are better than two — but hundreds are even better.

When many people unite for one cause, change is inevitable.

We are seeing that in our nation.

Colorado has already passed reform aimed at providing greater oversight and transparency for law enforcement, which is a start to making America a safer place for all its citizens, especially people of color. We believe such reform to be the appropriate reaction, rather than abolishing law enforcement, as more extreme voices are advocating. We have faith that police brutality can be rooted out of a justice system with far more good actors than bad ones.

But the bad actors with badges have shown that they can inflict immeasurable damage.

When our sisters and brothers flinch and fear for their lives when they see blue lights behind them, change needs to come. When our jails are disproportionately filled with black men and women, change needs to come. When a lack of access to health care means a larger percentage of African Americans die from coronavirus than any other demographic, change needs to come.

We’ve been heartened to see law enforcement officials in many communities standing in solidarity with their neighbors. It is a living testament that change can happen, progress can be made and we can heal our nation together.