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OPINION: There’s power in protest

All across America, people are banding together for what has been called the largest civil rights protest in U.S. history. From coast to coast and hundreds of cities in between people are speaking out against injustice. 

The recent killings of and police brutality against black Americans has sparked an uprising of people from all walks of life demanding reform to protect people of color in our country. 

Many of the protests have turned violent, and that is largely what we will see in the news and on social media: the negative. Sadly, many have been injured and some have even lost their lives in the process of this uprising. 

Yet, many of the protests and rallies have been peaceful, including those held over the weekend in Winchester and the nearest large city, Lexington. We are thankful for that, especially in our own community. 

We are thankful for the right to protest against such injustices, to lift our voices together to demand change and to be able to do so peacefully so that no others must be harmed in the process. 

But that has not always been the case in the course of fighting for justice in our country. 

Such is the case with the the most recent protests, many of which have turned into riots. We do not condone violence, vandalism or looting. There is power is protest, but many have been injured and some even killed in the process of protests that have turned violent.

We implore those with a voice in our nation to use it instead of violence. We ask that you discourage others from turning to violence, too.

We won’t pretend to have answers. We also can’t and won’t pretend to fully understand the experiences of our readers, neighbors, friends and loved ones who are people of color in America. It is an injustice that has deep roots in our country, so there is no quick or simple remedy. 

We want to use this space to reach out you, to say simply that we see you and we love you. 

We acknowledge your struggle and your pain. 

We appreciate your contributions to our community. They are vast and significant. 

We want to use our platform to speak out against these injustices. Racism is wrong in all its forms, but especially when it results in the brutality against and the death of people of color in our country. 

We offer our opinion page as a place for the voices of all the people in our community to be heard, including and especially people of color during these times. 

We encourage our readers to be open-minded and open-hearted. We ask that you take the time to educate yourselves about the experiences of people of color in our country. Look at history, but also look at what is happening around us today. 

If you witness acts of injustice, speak out against it. Bring light to these acts so they cannot be brushed under the rug. As Albert Einstein once said, “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” 

Protect each other. 

Watch out for each other. 

Seek to understand each other. 

Love each other. Desmond Tutu, a South African opponent of apartheid, said it best: “Good is stronger than evil. Love is stronger than hate. Light is stronger than darkness.”

Editorials represent the opinion of The Winchester Sun’s editorial board. To request a meeting with the board, email editor Whitney Leggett at whitney.leggett@winchestersun.com.