Letter: Respectful dialogue is a good first step

Posted 7/16/20

I have been following the recent conflict regarding the raising of flags, as well as an event organized by Bristol County Concerned Citizens. Not only are their motives being questioned, but some are …

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Letter: Respectful dialogue is a good first step

Posted

I have been following the recent conflict regarding the raising of flags, as well as an event organized by Bristol County Concerned Citizens. Not only are their motives being questioned, but some are portraying them as a nefarious group “cloaked in secrecy” as well as wolves “in sheeps’ clothing.”

This is a knee-jerk reaction to a very positive gesture that could have beneficial results. Another headline read, “Too many … are forcing an ‘us vs. them’ dialogue.” Dialogue, reasoned and civil, is a wise step in solving problems and avoiding escalating conflict.

The individuals who are suggesting to meet and talk about their differences are courageous and well-intentioned in reaching out for the common good, rather than remaining intransigent in their views, political or personal. Such an effort should be commended and applauded.

They are actually attempting to bridge the gap in what has become a divisive and hostile environment. Rejecting their overture because one disagrees offhand with their values, beliefs, or positions reflects an unwillingness to participate in coming together through understanding and compromise.

Those whose names appear as proponents of BCCC are men of character and integrity whose goal is to foster unity, good will, and improvement. Why would anyone not encourage their efforts to find common ground with those who have different views?

To hold fast and stubbornly refuse what could turn out to be a fruitful exchange is to exacerbate an already tense situation. If we all insist on standing our ground in defiance, anger, and resentment, no progress can be made in understanding the feelings of the opposition or what it hopes to achieve.

The best attitude in this initial stage of the upcoming discourse between Michael Brynes (BCCC) and Dyshell Palmer (BLM) is to keep an open mind and wish them well in forging a relationship that will benefit all parties.

Donna DeLeo Bruno
Bristol

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.