John R. Cassata

Instead of celebrating America’s birth, social upheaval is raging across the land. The ongoing mayhem has transitioned from protesting the brutal murder of a Black man by a corrupt cop to destroying monuments of Confederate generals, Union generals who defeated the South, and abolitionists, including the author of the Emancipation Proclamation. Even our revered founders are not immune to this rage. Why is this happening? 

Amidst this turmoil let’s think about some things President Ronald Reagan said in his farewell address given on Jan. 11, 1989:

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(2) comments


I think the millennials (and the other younger generations) are bringing truth, social justice, ethics, morals, accountability and integrity back into our country today and that is the reason for so much rage in our country today.

The older generations (50 yr olds and older) have bought into a system of tribal conservative politics today that eschews love of humanity, the environment and their fellow Americans. Greed, selfishness and fear are the primary motivators of the older generations.

Sad to say...I'm a member of that "older generation" and I'm disgusted and angry what we've done to this country. I pray that the younger generations clean up the mess we created and make a better country and world for the future.

Rita Wittwer

You ask why people are destroying statues regardless of their meaning. When you put yourself in someone else's shoes it begins to make sense. I don't condone the destruction of all statues, but those statues can be recast in all their glory. What we need to understand is where the anger is coming from, which is pretty simple.

Our country was founded on some extraordinary principles. Unfortunately, those principles from the beginning only applied to white people. The confederate statues were erected during Jim Crow to make sure Blacks knew their place. Throughout our history, Blacks have put up with systemic racism and judicial injustice. The fact that finally we have rioting in the streets after seeing George Floyd murdered is testament to our willingness to ignore these issues.

Police brutality and an inequitable justice system isn't new, but it took seeing George Floyd murdered to get people to start demanding reform. To suggest that millenials and college students don't understand the meaning of being an American isn't true. They understand it all too well and reject the notion that we've been living those values. Their elders didn't do much to right the wrongs, so it's up to the young to keep our focus on the change that is required.

While most police officers are doing what they swore to do, there are many white supremecists who have infiltrated the ranks and have spoiled the barrel. I hope that those men and women who actually serve and protect stop the blue wall of silence and eradicate those who don't deserve to wear the shield. And, we all know that the judicial system has forever been one sided, which is why a disproportionate number of Blacks are incarcerated.

People get angry and they have a right. Whites have consistently used their white privilege to make economic decisions that favor the white population.

There was a time when Black neighborhoods thrived economically, but those policies that helped us whites destroyed Black neighborhoods and sent them into a spiral of poverty. Their businesses died leaving a great number of Black men and women out of work. Now, some would say that they could have gotten work someplace else. But, if you don't have a car, and the bus line doesn't take you to employment centers, and many hiring policies were racist, it becomes extraordinarily difficult to get employed.

Sometimes it takes a hammer to get people to recognize that we have a huge problem that needs to be fixed.

Rita Wittwer

New Braunfels

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