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Wouldn't it be great ...
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Dear editor,

It would be great if Americans would stop listening to the pundits on MSNBC and Fox News that make money by hyping up the tensions between white and black.

It would be great if we would stop letting ourselves be divided on issues like those brought forth in Baltimore.

It would be great if we could have a real conversation about what happened in Baltimore, Ferguson, and any other town in the USA. Both sides of the argument have legitimate points that should be addressed.

It would be great if "African Americans" engaged in activism for something other than what they see as a "black" issue.

It would be great if white Americans would admit that they are more likely to suspect a black kid walking down the street of being up to no good than if it was a white kid.

It would be great if we could stop casting judgement immediately after news breaks, and let the facts comes to light. (I've been guilty of this)

It would be great if black America would understand that "black culture" today has issues that need to be addressed, and they can't be fixed by white folks or the government.

It would be great if white America would realize that "white folks" have issues that need to be dealt with too, rather than just blaming many of our country's problems on Obama and "the blacks that voted him in office."

It would be great if we, as a society, would admit that the government, and each individual indirectly, have allowed policies that have had a negative impact on black and poor communities.

It would be great if people would admit that law enforcement can be corrupt and things need to change rather than saying "Well, if you aren't doing anything wrong, you wouldn't have to worry about it." There are law enforcement officers out there that are egotistical maniacs, and inside the Fraternal Order of Police there is a problem of keeping mistakes quiet.

It would be great if people that supposedly value life would stop letting someone's criminal past be used to dismiss any wrongdoing at the hands of government officials.

It would be great if people would admit that many of the violent rioters aren't out there protesting anything. They just want to loot and destroy.

It would be great if people would stop labeling the thousands of peaceful protesters as animals and thugs. There was a massive and diverse crowd that marched peacefully, and a small fraction of that crowd was there to stir up trouble.

Oh wouldn't it be great...

We have yet another opportunity to address the issues that divide us. I wish we could have thoughtful, respectful conversations amongst ourselves in our communities. They can get heated at times, but understand that issues like this have been brewing a storm of emotions for decades, if not centuries. Talking WITH one another rather than talking TO one another is the only way we can come together, stop the violence, and move on. Otherwise, things keep boiling, and one day, those truly wishing to be "Revolutionaries" will have enough angry people on both sides to create the chaos that they want. Come on y'all, we can do better than what we are doing now. Both sides need to stop the hate and stand up to those speaking ignorantly in our communities. (Man... that last line sounded way too liberal for me, but I'm calling it like I see it.) Nothing is ever going to improve if we stand by and let the media tell us what to think. Let's talk.

Josh McKelvey