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Questioning town leadership

By Staff | Jul 3, 2020

The good reporting in the June 19 Chronicle on the Black Lives Matter gathering at Morgan’s Grove Park ends with positive words about how the event was planned for by the town and county officials. What happened after is typical of our flawed town leadership. The mayor went on another apology tour for the now-admitted unnecessary “social control” — what black lives have felt all their lives — that urged word of this event be kept down. No posting on Facebook about the event was allowed, and email lists of those invited were controlled. All to effectively make this event, planned for two weeks by its compassionate organizers, draw about half as many people as the Shepherdstown Wall event the previous Friday.

When what matters, as the brilliant Linda Torado writes, is the largest turnout of peaceful demonstrators, so those who can change society will see the desire of concerned citizenry — an estimated 30 or 35 million peacefully marching so far — and change the systemic racism in our country.

Why, if fear of outside agitators was the supposed reason, did the Shepherdstown police, carefully concerned about downtown Shepherdstown as they always are, ask me, after I had notified and invited them all to the Wall event the previous Friday, “What we can we do for you, Mark?” I had worries about out-of-state license plates showing up, but they didn’t — just as the two police officers at Morgan’s Grove Park stood in the perfect place to see everything.

The ghosts of Shepherdstown have more substantiality than our town’s leadership’s fabricated rationalizations.

Mark Kohut, of Shepherdstown