To the editor:

President Kennedy said, “The hottest place in Hades is reserved for those who equivocate in times of moral crisis.”

I thought of that when I saw signs while driving past the Black Lives Matters demonstration last week. It read, “WHITE SILENCE = VIOLENCE.”

I agree.

I know plenty of fine people of my race (white) who are neither racist nor hateful, but to be silent these days is an evasion of moral responsibility. We must stand up — conspicuously  —for fellow Americans who, like their forebears, still do not have the full protections and benefits of citizenship. So, I parked over by the White-Ellery house, put on my mask, and found a place where I could maintain a safe physical distance.

Only then I learned that the event was organized by students from Gloucester High from which I graduated almost 60 years ago. My eyes welled up.

There’s much work still to be done. Our resolve must be visible and sustained. Here’s an idea for the mayor, City Council, Chief Conley  —and GHS students, too.

Let’s follow the example of Flint, Michigan; Houston, Texas; and other cities around the country. Let’s have a gathering (perhaps a parade) where citizen advocates come together with representatives of our police force to express commitment to civil rights and support for conscientious policing. The department’s mission statement concludes with this statement: “We will provide service with understanding, response with compassion, performance with integrity, and law enforcement with vision.” Let’s stand up for that, too.

Michael Wheeler


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