The results of the recent election were met, by almost all of us, with incredible surprise. The wholly unexpected result also led to tremendous protests of people upset and concerned about our nation’s future.
America is greater than one office, even if that office is the presidency; and it is greater than one man, even if that man is the president.
Our republic has gone through incredible constitutional crises, and has remained strong.
Our republic has gone through a Civil War, and has remained strong.
Our republic has gone through international wars, and it has remained strong.
It is the nature of our nation to remain strong and grow stronger, no matter how it is tested. That strength comes from our citizens, and we the people will forever remain that source of strength.
We, as citizens, have a responsibility that goes beyond that of voting on Election Day.
That responsibility is to give our voice – every day; To give our voice on the issues that matter to us, and to give a voice for the people who matter to us.
Thanksgiving could not come at a more perfect time for all of us to pause and calmly consider the direction our country- and our county- are heading in. We are thankful, of course, for the very right to vote and choose our leaders, and we are thankful to live in a nation that values and protects that right. That thanks is marred, however, by the bigotry that we have seen on our television screens from across the country.
Sadly, Rockland County is not immune from that hatred. The anti-Semitic epithets spray-painted in front of two homes in Pomona are a reminder- mostly to all of Rockland’s elected officials – that we need to set a more respectful and tolerant tone in this County.
Regardless of who the president is, it is the obligation of citizens to care for each other. We will defend the rights of our neighbors who feel threatened, or the marginalized who feel jeopardized.
All communities here are part of the Rockland community, and we need more people to understand that and reflect that. It’s residents like Ivey Mackle, who removed that graffiti and painted hearts over the hate, who are the ones we ought to follow and emulate, and ignore those – no matter their title – who would choose to divide us.