We were pleased to see a peaceful "March for Justice" in Dalton on Monday, organized by three friends, all longtime Dalton residents, who are seeking changes in policies to prevent violence by police and increased local funding for public education and social service programs, among other concerns.
Peaceful protests are an important way to help bring about change in society, and are protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
However, we were greatly troubled by some of the things that accompanied the march, including vulgar language on some signs, and some march participants "flipping off" those who could see the march.
This was supposed to be a positive march to bring about positive changes, and such rude and childish behavior only worked against the motives of the organizers, who should have made clear before the march to all participants that such behavior would not be appreciated and was not welcome at the march.
Given what has been happening in this country since the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, a black man, who died in police custody on May 25 after a white officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes while three other officers watched, this is a time for unity, not divisiveness (well, it's always a time for unity, not divisiveness, but now, extremely so).
If you hope to rally people to your cause, your enterprise should be filled with love, caring, compassion, and these should be genuine, not contrived. It should be made clear that anyone who does not share these attributes is not helping the cause and is not welcome.
"What the world needs now is love" was true when it was sung by Jackie DeShannon in the 1960s and it is still true today.
Those who want to change our world for the better would do well to remember those words as they plan for marches or whatever other endeavors they pursue.