To the editor:
Throughout the history of America, the country often claims to be a nation that has tremendous respect for humanity. America makes the claim of being the Big Brother of the world, vowing to protect humanity and promote peace. Yet, America has a history of not acting as the world’s moral compass within its own borders. America committed genocide on Native Americans. America captured and enslaved Africans indoctrinating them in the most brutal form of slavery. America interned its Japanese citizens. Today, America is separating children from their refugee parents whom have left their native countries due to violence. The inability to have humaneness for others is an American tradition played out too often.
America has a constitution, laws, and religious grounding, yet America cannot accomplish the simple task of loving and respecting all mankind. Many Americans believe if everyone would simply assimilate to the customs and practices of the most stringent and hateful people, then America would be great. Others believe allowing everyone to pursue their happiness is the essence of America.
Although we here in Newton County have an abundance of churches and organizations that are designed to help guide the county in being an inclusive, caring and loving environment, the majority of these organizations choose not to address humanity or equality issues. They are comfortable with banquets, photo ops, and the Status Quo. Facing real issues are an inconvenience that they wish not to confront.
We actually have citizens celebrating the separation of families which is based primarily on hatred of a race of people. We have citizens celebrating the history of slavery, genocide, murder, and torture brought about through the Confederate ideology. Too many churches and the Newton County local chapter of the NAACP are not visibly rebuking hatred. They sit comfortably by accepting a conscientious determination by citizens to hate one another. Our president leads with hate - attacking refugees and calling them animals. He has given permission for his loyal followers to act out, violently, against Americans they disagree with.
We must acknowledge the mistaken philosophy of former leaders that promoted hate and the destruction of groups of people and the ever-present effects of these policies/ideas on morality currently. Every church, leader, and organization should stand together in rebuking this county’s horrid past. The true backstory of the Confederacy and Jim Crow should be taught in every school. Today citizens of Newton County must see that America is repeating its horrendous past. It's time for Newton County to stand as one, admitting the wrongs of the past, correcting previous wrongs today, rebuking the wrong treatment against refugee parents/children and speaking out on any and all wrongs that deny humane treatment for all here on American soil.
Gene A. Wills Jr.