Letters to the Editor

Letter | We must do more than remove Confederate flag to prevent daily tragedies in South Carolina

Parishioners pray and weep at the Emanuel AME Church Sunday, June 21, 2015, in Charleston, S.C., four days after a mass shooting that claimed the lives of its pastor and eight others.
David Goldman AP
Parishioners pray and weep at the Emanuel AME Church Sunday, June 21, 2015, in Charleston, S.C., four days after a mass shooting that claimed the lives of its pastor and eight others. David Goldman AP

React!

That’s what we do.

We wait until unbelievable tragedy shocks us from our comfort zone, then we do something. Quickly. Firmly. Angrily. Too late.

Now, everybody, but not everybody, is outraged at the presence of the Confederate stars and bars in our lives. Now, we want its hurtful and demeaning image out of sight. It is the culprit. It caused a damaged young man to murder 9 human beings and turn a city and a country upside down.

It did not.

The flag is not to blame.

The life led by the damaged young man is to blame; lives led by thousands of others who share similar views of the way things are, are to blame.

We all should indeed be outraged at this heinous crime. Now, for whatever reasons, probably public outrage, our leaders are determined to get rid of the culprit once and for all.

Take that flag down.

While I applaud the present efforts, and abhor the loss of precious life, it is an outrage that many thousands of others in South Carolina are losing their lives every day - and not too many folks seem to care.

The reasons are countless, but at the root of most of the violent acts that take lives, literally and figuratively, is the lack of education and knowledge about how we raise our children.

Home is where the start is and the beliefs, ethics, values, biases, prejudices, anger and violence have their seeds in the homes from which we come. Who do you think put that flag into the hand of that child?

Who do you think teaches us to become who we become? How much effort do the leaders of our state give in finding ways to educate our citizens as early as possible and then help future parents understand the incredible importance of their jobs, raising human beings with morals and beliefs that would never lead to such a dastardly crime?

We can’t continue turning our backs on the slow, undramatic deaths occurring daily in our state. We have to invest in prevention that would strongly decrease crime and violence. We have to have leaders who say, “OK, the flag comes down, but that can’t be all we do.”

More tragic events are on the way, but the number can be decreased if we take action now.

Respond.

Not react.

The writer, who has a master’s degree in early childhood education, is a nationally certified Parenting and Family Life Educator. He lives in Surfside Beach.

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