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June 4, 2020 · OPINION

“We can no longer sit on the sidelines,” awaiting justice

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
By Renard Carlos

I, like many of you, continue to feel waves of emotion regarding the death of George Floyd. Like many of you my emotions range from sadness to frustration to anger. Like many of you I have struggled with finding the words to express my thoughts on the tragedy.

However, I believe it is important for leaders to speak out on these issues. The simple fact is, like you, I am outraged. As an African American male, and the uncle of two young African American boys, I am incredibly concerned about what their future looks like in our country if we do not start to address the injustice we are seeing take place within our communities, at what would seem like an increased frequency.

We must never allow our communities to become desensitized to injustice in any form perpetrated by anyone. I am sure many of us can identify with Ahmaud Arbery, who was going about his regular routine before he was gunned down. Now we see the death of George Floyd, in what is another senseless loss of life.  

I encourage each of us to take time to address our feelings about these tragedies and to have meaningful dialogue with those close to us. I encourage each of us to educate ourselves on the issues so the conversations we have in our own communities are productive and produce meaningful results.

In my opinion, now is the time to speak not as individual voices alone, but as one united choir of voices lifting up one unified message, which is, injustice is no longer an option.

While George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery were not residents of the Town of Warrenton, Virginia, I am reminded of the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

We are all stakeholders in these issues, and it is up to us to use our collective voices to peacefully speak out. We must use our collective voices not only to speak to these tragedies, but to continue the conversation of ending injustice which is a threat to us all.

Change will not come over night, and change is hard. The waves of emotions we each feel regarding these tragedies are just and understandable; however, what comes next is the hard part: Channeling our emotions into productive actions which address the issue at hand, building bridges that connect us where we are divided and healing the wounds of injustice affecting our communities.

We can no longer sit on the sidelines, waiting for others to carry the burden of civil rights for our generation, it is now our time to pick up the baton and run the race. I have confidence in our community to do just that.

The writer won election to his first four-year term as an at-large member of the Warrenton Town Council in 2018.
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CAL2 · June 12, 2020 at 11:30 am
SonnyDay says: "Yet another politician who is using emotions instead of facts to rile people up."

What the writer actually said: "Channeling our emotions into productive actions which address the issue at hand, building bridges that connect us where we are divided and healing the wounds of injustice affecting our communities."

This is what you call riling people up? Encouraging them to channel their anger into productive rather than destructive actions, and to heal societal divisions and injustice? Nice try, but up is not down.
AmericanPatriot · June 6, 2020 at 8:08 pm
One wonders what justice means. The cop who caused Floyd to have a heart attack, with a system jammed with fenatyl and meth, is up on murder charges, has been jailed, and is facing the end of his life.

Thats a hell of a lot more justice than the killers of thousands of blacks in Chicago face.

AmericanPatriot · June 6, 2020 at 5:32 pm
You know its a democrat when they go sexual in their taunts.

Sick minds.
Jerome Fields · June 6, 2020 at 12:38 pm
You know they have nothing else when they start repeating the same nonsense over and over. Same old song, new tune.
DonkeyFarmer · June 5, 2020 at 9:17 pm
You know they have nothing else when they start talking about "your real name"
Jerome Fields · June 5, 2020 at 8:52 pm
Donkey - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAH you are hilarious. I get a kick out of reading your attempts at being a tough guy, can't even use your real name you coward.
DonkeyFarmer · June 5, 2020 at 6:39 pm
Looks like Jerome is a pervert as well as a loser. He is obsessed with phallic symbols and likes to comment about little girls like his buddy Tony Bently.

Wasn't Michael Avenetti sent to prison, and Stormy Daniels lost her case against Trump and ordered to pay his legal fees? What a pathetic loser you are Jerome or Tony or whatever name you choose today.
Jerome Fields · June 5, 2020 at 6:07 pm
AP - What nerve did you hit? Don't feel a thing.

DonkeyFarmer- Didn't sell anything. Moved some into Bonds. Have regained about half of what was lost, and moved that into a Roth.

Trump still sucks. Bunker Boy is a coward and his magic wand looks like a mushroom I hear.
AmericanPatriot · June 5, 2020 at 5:06 pm
Its an amazing thing, isn't it. After all these problems, the stock market is STILL higher than it ever reached when that chicago clown was in office.

Must be that magic wand.
DonkeyFarmer · June 5, 2020 at 4:34 pm
Remember when Jerome Fields came on here in the middle of March, when the stock market was crashing and businesses were closing... people were upset watching their retirement savings disappearing, and Jerome came on here and gleefully asked Trump supporters how their 401k was doing in an attempt to antagonize his fellow neighbors. THAT is the kind of person Jerome is. Angry, bitter, and a failure at life, all he can do is rip on the President every chance he gets.

By the way Jerome, now that the Dow is up over 27,000 again I wonder how your 401k is doing? If you had any investments I hope you sold them at the bottom.
AmericanPatriot · June 5, 2020 at 4:19 pm
Touched a nerve, didn't I, jerry.
Jerome Fields · June 5, 2020 at 4:02 pm
AngryBob - I don't trust anyone equally.
Jerome Fields · June 5, 2020 at 4:00 pm
AP - Are you talking to me? If so, I served in the US ARMY from 1984 -1992. Why and why do you care?

Signal Corps. Fort Jackson to Fort Gordon to W.O. Darby Kaserne, West Germany (at the time), then Fort Carson.

Asking for a friend......."A" friend, that's all you have is "A" friend?
AngryBob · June 5, 2020 at 1:47 pm
I dislike people of all races equally.
AmericanPatriot · June 5, 2020 at 12:21 pm
When did you serve, jerry.

Asking for a friend...
AmericanPatriot · June 5, 2020 at 12:20 pm
will the rally on Saturday comply with Governor Northams mandate on outside gatherings and their limitations of outdoor events to 50 people?

I just spit coffee all over my keyboard.

Thanks for the laugh!
Truepat · June 5, 2020 at 10:39 am
will the rally on Saturday comply with Governor Northams mandate on outside gatherings and their limitations of outdoor events to 50 people?
brandonj · June 5, 2020 at 10:31 am
I don't like this oped because it's a passive aggressive claim that if I don't protest the Floyd murder that I'm complicit and quite possibly a racist. It also doesn't hint at what the problems are.

There will always be injustice as no system, especially one of our size is perfect. I do not believe there is systemic injustice, rather systemic bias. The African American community is over-represented in the incarceration statistics. Naturally this means police are more often dealing with that demographic and might develop some bias or stereotypes over time (Chauvin was a supposed veteran). This is human nature. Occasionally this bias might lead to an extreme injustice as in the case of Mr. Floyds's murder. The criminal justice system probably could address this behavior, with sensitivity and community training, but I think most jurisdictions do this already.

Of course the real question is why the over-representation? Could it be prosecution of youths for minor drug crimes, single parent households, or maybe the welfare state? There are a lot of studies I could cite. I don't think the answer is systemic racism and desire to keep African Americans under a boot. Remember that slavery has affected all skin colors and is millenia older than the United States and for some reason we are plagued by these disparities more so than other countries.

Largely agree with @Gonearethedays recent comments - nice post.
Pete Nowotny · June 5, 2020 at 6:25 am
Great points, Gonearethedays.
Gonearethedays · June 4, 2020 at 9:31 pm
Three essays ring particularly true here-


We should consider what sincere protesters and Antifa/BLM have in common. Both have lost sight of a true and honest sense of justice.

It is not "just" to focus on only one black victim of violence while ignoring the fatal violence suffered by 17,300 others each year, including over 6,000 whites. No legitimate conception of justice can be based on the idea that the lives of one race matter while the lives of others do not. The most essential criterion of justice is that it must be blind.

By limiting their protests to the death of George Floyd, "genuine" protesters — those whom Joe Biden encourages to return to the streets night after night — reveal their lack of compassion for others who have died unjustly. In this way, they are not so different from Antifa, who seem to have little compassion for any who have died unjustly.

What "genuine" protesters share with Antifa is a callous rejection of the idea that justice is blind. Antifa would destroy our legal system, burn our government buildings, and assault the police who maintain order. Mainstream protesters would not go that far; they would simply limit their concern to one race.

"Justice for one race" is not an acceptable idea. It sounds a great deal like the fascist doctrine of race superiority that the Floyd protesters claim to be opposing. Those who really want to honor the memory of George Floyd or anyone else should do so by considering the true nature of justice and basing their actions on what justice demands: a sincere concern for all who are victims of violence.


At the macro level, we are experiencing a recurring clash of cultures. Intrinsic and extrinsic value systems, lifestyles, and social norms, the basic building blocks of a society's social contract, are in conflict. Once again referencing the record of human history, apparently, the best we can hope for is to apply Realpolitik to achieve and sustain some sort of stasis in which conflicting groups can function independently, with minimal infringement on other groups. This process can begin only when violence and anarchy are neutralized. These elements must be removed from the equation before a solution can be calculated. To delay aggressive corrective action is to delay any effective resolution and increase damage to society, the economy, and our national psyche.


Everything Democrats and fake news media want always harms the American people. Democrat policies have destroyed black families. Democrat-controlled cities have record high black-on-black crime. Democrat sanctuary cities coddle illegals who rape and murder Americans. Democrats twisted Trump's commonsense mission to make America great again to spark racial hate.

The George Floyd riots mark Democrats' and fake news media's new level of sociopathic aggression, instigating the killing of everyday Americans while claiming the moral high ground.

Black Lives Matter minions have ambushed and assassinated several cops. For some reason, George Floyd rioters shooting to death 77-year-old small-town police chief David Dorn feels like a new level of in-our-faces domestic terrorism. Democrats and fake news media are practically issuing marching orders to rioters: destroy monuments, burn businesses, and take whatever rioters believe that white America has stolen from them. Rioters plan to invade white suburban and rural private homes.

Can you believe this, folks? In essence, Democrats and fake news media are instructing rioters to "go get 'em!" to spark Charles Manson's apocalyptic race war called "Helter Skelter."

The Second Amendment is to protect us from government tyranny. Claiming that the Second Amendment is outdated, Democrats and fake news media brand law-abiding gun owners as paranoid nut-jobs. Today, Democrats are ignoring the Constitution, enforcing unlawful demands upon We the People. They have unleashed an army of domestic terrorists to beat us into submission to their social-justice, anti-Christian, and anti-American agenda.

These diverse elements blocking Warrenton Courthouse Square last weekend and now this weekend (including some Bolshevik elements and mark my words they'll be back again) run an extremely high danger of conflagrating into what we are seeing across the nation on television- Democrats attempting to defend the indefensible.
AmericanPatriot · June 4, 2020 at 9:29 pm
I have never relied on a cop for my protection in 63 years of life. From my 8 years of being a Marine, to over 30 years of competition, my small arm skills keep me and mine safe.

I don't see anything changing.
FalconDad · June 4, 2020 at 7:17 pm
I heard some folks in town today saying they heard the town council may announce the disbanding of the Town Police since there’s plenty of Sheriff Deputies in town on a daily basis to handle town Police duties other than that of the meter maid, she can stay. The Town will be hurting for money in the coming year due to the COVID-19 virus business effects and the current anti-Police sentiment in the air may make this a good time to let this happen.
Jerome Fields · June 4, 2020 at 3:43 pm
You all keep preaching about your RIGHTS, but have no tolerance for others rights.
Renard Carlos has a right to post his opinion, same as you, yet here we are again, no one is listening, more lalalala, I can't hear you because it doesn't coincide with how I feel or think. We are headed down a dead end street at 100 MPH and someone forgot to have the brakes fixed. Time to kiss it all goodbye!
Jerome Fields · June 4, 2020 at 3:34 pm
Sonny Day - It sounds more like we have an out of control gun availability, lack of discipline, and nowhere to go but down, problem.

AmericanPatriot - Could you please pass your "just leave" message on to the WH. "Why don't you get out of our country....." OUR COUNTRY, since when did you take ownership?
Joan Smith · June 4, 2020 at 1:49 pm
You are the only dull mind here, Cretinthenes.
AmericanPatriot · June 4, 2020 at 11:23 am
No, I didn't say love it or leave it. I said 'just leave'.

Your reading comprehension is on par with your critical thinking.
Demosthenes · June 4, 2020 at 10:34 am
Ahh yes, AmericanPatriot, the ole "love it or leave it" argument. Always so clever.

Of course, based on that logic we should probably still be a colony of Britain. With slaves. And most other people working in coal mines. While only white male landowners get to vote.

It takes a particularly dull mind to look at our country and not see ways in which we can continue to improve it.

I am glad that we have at least some leaders today who are interested in addressing issues of injustice rather than stoking the flames of hate.
AmericanPatriot · June 4, 2020 at 9:25 am
This is simple rabble rousing and is unacceptable in a civilized society. If you are upset about a black being murdered by a white cop, but not a white woman murdered by a black cop, then you are simply an opportunistic racist and have NO place in our government.

You screechers say NOTHING about the whites killed by law enforcement, you couldn't care less. There is no injustice there, is there. You say nothing about the hundreds of businesses destroyed, and lives ruined by the selfish acting out of depraved people.

All just collateral damage in your crusade against imagined injustice. You are on THE TOWN COUNCIL. Yet you moan about how racist America is.

Why don't you get out of our country and go to some place better. And take obama with you.
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