Needed conversations happen across Shelby County

Published 12:38 pm Monday, June 15, 2020

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More than two weeks after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, amid continued protests, much needed conversations are starting to happen at the national, state and local level.

Between Monday, June 1, and Friday, June 12, several local communities in Shelby County have gathered together peacefully not just to protest, but have conversations about any racism that exists in today’s society.

While some may not agree with others and their opinions, there was at least a willingness to listen and understand.

In Helena there was a prayer vigil held at the city’s sports complex, in Montevallo there was a community gathering at the Scott Village housing development and in Alabaster many assembled peacefully at Veteran’s Park.

Each location featured many in attendance from different races and backgrounds there to either open up and share the emotions they are feeling when it comes to racism or listen to the perspective of others with more experience.

At Helena, what was supposed to be an eight-minute prayer vigil against racism for the community turned into an hour-long conversation with several community leaders and residents engaging in what can be uncomfortable conversations.

But during a time in which there is either a boiling over of emotions or a lack of understanding and in some cases denial, those conversations are necessary to help us move forward.

Right now, we all need to be striving for communication and respect so we can reach an area of peace among us through different races.

Whether you think some are treated unfairly or not, all that matters is that some do feel that way, and the right thing to do is listen to their thoughts and what they are feeling.

Right now we are seeing the ugliest side of a lot of people, letting the fire stoke within them spewing out negative comments and other disagreements.

It’s fine to disagree and have your own opinion. That’s part of what makes our country so great. But at the same time, you have to have a level of respect.

We all know the difference between right and wrong and we all know how to treat people.

Right now, it seems as if many of us have forgotten that.

These local gatherings have led to a peaceful way for many black people to express their emotions when it comes to racism, while allowing for others to listen to ways of how to help it not be a problem.

Just to show that respect and listen is more meaningful than many of us realize, and something many of us are still failing to do.

As more emotions poor out and ears open at different protests and gatherings around the county take place, we may finally get that sense of peacefulness we are seeking right now.

It’s past time for the bickering to come to an end and respect to take its place.