Act now on pressing issues

Published 7:40 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Citizens are participatory members of a community with certain rights and duties.

Citizens serve their county, state and nation when they can love what is best about each and hold our leaders and ourselves accountable at all times. As citizens, we are expected to help shape discussion. If we are not involved, then our perspective does not have a place at the table. We have a responsibility to advocate for the weak and most vulnerable in our society. We cannot sit or stand idly by and allow anyone to be mistreated and not cared for and not speak up.

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Instead of holding on to the monuments of stone or creating new ones as one has suggested, let’s work together on pressing issues that affect so many: health care, affordable housing, homelessness, a fair working wage, to name a few. Some may call these social issues. No! They are people issues.

Those who say the Confederate monument, which is really a stone idol, is a memorial cannot even come in a room and speak to those who oppose your viewpoint. We must start now tearing down these walls and building up. Learn a lesson from young children. They often get upset with each other. It does not last long. In the next little while you see them playing together. There is a reason we have two ears, so we listen more. Our lives matter more than just at the self-serving interests of others. The loud and numerous voices speak of your family members that have served and you want to honor them. We served before we were free, served before Jim Crow, served while we were lynched, served before the Jim Crow era, served when we were called everything from “boy” to words I won’t use and continue to serve during police brutality and other injustices.

We serve while too many in white America continue to fly Confederate flags. We continue to love and forgive America. It is time for us to at least begin to talk about what is right. Let us tap into the potential of all. We cannot do it by wanting old ideals and power structures to remain. There must be, has to be, equality and justice for all.

To every member of the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors your labor is one that should uplift all of humanity and should be undertaken with excellence and not passed on to a task force because you refuse to make a decision. If this task force does not measure up, are you planning some other way not to act?

May you rule wisely with proper discernment. Don’t fool me now.


Martha Jackson