Letter: A country held hostage

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A country held hostage

Editor of the Reformer:

In "Black Hawk Down," a soldier says the rule of engagement is "Not to fire until fired upon." Wouldn't you think this should be the rule for the police?

Clearly it is not when we have again and again the police shoot unarmed blacks including children holding toy guns.

Watching the news last night with my daughter we were upset with this continuing stain of racism when the commentator said the police officer who shot the man in North Carolina was black. Shortly, followed by a replay of the video tape of the Tulsa shooting with the voice of the female office screaming "Shots fired," the fear in her voice apparent.

"It is more than racism."

"What do you mean?"

"It's fear ..."

In point of fact it is all fear. America has become a country held hostage by fear. From terrorism to health care the American people are obsessed with the fear of death to the extent that they have forgotten about life.

People afraid to travel overseas, yet we have homegrown terrorist from coast to coast to coast: San Bernardino, Orlando, New York. Senior citizens taking extra ordinary steps to put the Grim Reaper off for a few years popping pills waiting for a transplant sitting in front of the TV set watching the country go down the drain on Fox News becoming so afraid they'll vote for a fear monger.

Racism is fear of difference when there isn't any. It bothers me the census forms under race have six or seven boxes when there should only be two: Human and Other. Fear is ignorance.

If a police officer approaches his job every day fearing for his life, he or she is in the wrong profession. To protect and serve others should be the motivation not getting a pay check and a pension.

Perhaps, this is the bigger problem in America: motivation. People use to view choosing a job as a vocation. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, police even politicians sought those jobs to help and serve others. In the 1980s everything changed; people choose their professions based on the most bang for the buck. Health care, justice, education and representation (Thank you Citizens United) are out of reach for many as some get $250,000 for an hour for a speech or a golden parachute of $100 million for overseeing fraud.

It all seems so crazy to me: there are no pockets in shrouds.

Dean Lynch, Westminster West, Sept. 25


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