On June 17th in Charleston, South Carolina, a 21 year old male entered the sanctuary of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church—one of Charleston’s most historic black churches—and opened fire during Bible study, killing nine people. The individual responsible is currently in police custody in South Carolina.
According to news sources, one of the roots of the crime is a clear form of hatred, which at times can form without boundaries. History has proven that racially-based hatred can lead toward one or multiple acts of violence. Although this specific and devastating act of violence took place hundreds of miles away from Mansfield; we cannot afford to sit idle.
Here in Mansfield, we have a choice. We can choose to be symbolic and stand together; or we can take it one step further and make the choice to take action and move forward together regardless of racial differences. Standing idle on the issue of racial hatred will not generate the results we deserve as a country, state and city. It’s only through action and taking concrete steps forward, can progress be made.
Moving forward can mean many different things. One of the most basic aspects of moving forward is by working toward the achievement of commitments, goals and milestones TOGETHER.
Therefore, I am encouraging all of us to take steps forward TOGETHER and make the commitment to say NO to racial hatred.
By saying NO to racial hatred, you are making a difference. You will be taking a positive step forward for Mansfield, for Ohio, and for our Country.