Letter: We all need to start finding common ground

Posted 6/3/21

In last week's Phoenix there was a letter to the editor criticizing my concerns regarding systemic racism, both locally and nationally, and how there are worse problems facing society, such as drug …

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Letter: We all need to start finding common ground

Posted

In last week's Phoenix there was a letter to the editor criticizing my concerns regarding systemic racism, both locally and nationally, and how there are worse problems facing society, such as drug abuse, alcoholism and sexual immorality.

While I agree that drug abuse and alcoholism are problems, they tend to be individualized problems, and not systemic in nature, as opposed to racism, which left unchecked, tends to be a societal problem, and spreads like a cancer. And as far as sexual immorality being a societal problem, that comment was so preposterous, I’m not even going to dignify it with a response.

It also appears that there is a certain segment of our town’s population who believe that religion, nationalism and conservative values are the panacea for all the problems of the world, which is an extremely myopic viewpoint. Just because I have not gone to church in 40 years, I don’t fly the American flag from my front porch, and and I don't ride around town with my car windows down blasting Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless The USA” on my car radio, does that make me a bad person? I think not.

I judge people based upon their charity, compassion and how they treat others — not on their skin color, religious and political beliefs, or sexual proclivities. I have numerous friends who are rabid conservatives, and even though I’m a loud and proud liberal progressive, my conservative friends and I seek out issues and ideas we can agree on, rather than things that tear us apart.

If we want to coexist as a society, it’s crucial we begin finding some common ground, before our differences overwhelm our sensibilities.

Mike Proto
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.