Put the blame where it belongs

In the June 3rd edition of the Echo, Mayor Carl Florea devotes

      his community letter to the subject of racism. This was

      apparently spurred on by the tragic death of George Floyd in

      Minneapolis. Mayor Florea posits the notion that we here in

      Leavenworth are responsible for this death because we may harbor

      secret racist thoughts. He does this without knowing us but just

      assumes we have these thoughts because we are not black. This is

      the same vague, broad message that is pushed by politicians every

      time one of these tragedies occurs. The problem with this is that

      it is always ineffective at changing anything because it fails

      to address the problem at hand; a bad policeman that commits an

      openly despicable act against a black man. You don't have to be

      black to be shocked and disgusted by what he did.

      There is a basic rule in management when facing a problem that if

      we are all to blame then no one is to blame. By casting blame for

      this killing on the entire nation, we neatly avoid really dealing

      with it.

      This tragedy is the direct failure of the Minneapolis government

      to properly train and monitor its police department so that

      individuals like this cop are kept out of the force or weeded out

      if they somehow get in. It is only by correcting the problem at

      its source that you have any real chance to prevent it in the

      future. We can all wring our hands and talk about it but that

      will do nothing to stop another killing in Minneapolis. They have

      to do something about it on the ground there.

      In the meantime, we can pray for the family of George Floyd and

      all the people who have died in the ensuing violence. We can also

      vote locally to support people who will work to see that our law

      enforcement teams are properly trained and motivated.

      Jon Wheeler



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