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To the Editor:

I witnessed a portion of our community begin to fall apart by the court of public opinion (key word opinion) on Thursday, July 30th, 127 days since the first round of government shut downs in our State.

Whipsaw Brewing exercised their right to freedom of speech and proceeded to receive backlash from community members who disagree with their opinion. I respect both sides exercising their right to freedom of speech, but I want to share some additional thoughts on what I saw unravel and challenge our community to think before reacting.

We are in the middle of a medical crisis, we knew we would see an economic crisis, but we have not spoken about the social crisis that we are starting to see that is going to divide us even more. My heart hurts for everyone because we are all hurting in one way or another and before this crisis mental health wasn’t taken as seriously as it should have been. I truly believe we are all “a raw nerve”, that the medical field can’t seem to agree, the government can’t seem to agree, and it leaves us, the peons, scrambling for facts and hope.

I want to encourage everyone in all situations to stop and put yourself in someone else’s shoes for a minute before taking to shaming your neighbor on social media. Consider the struggles they may be going through. These are unprecedented times and instead of building each other up we are finding ways to tear each other down when we are already suffering as a community. It is OK to agree to disagree and do so respectfully. It is OK to love your neighbor even if you don’t want to sit down and have a beer with them. It is OK to choose to not frequent a business because you don’t agree with their personal stance. It is OK to keep our thoughts to ourselves once in awhile.

I have witnessed this community come together during tragedy (Taylor Bridge Fire, the loss of Officer Thompson). Right now we need to refocus our community values and remember that these are our neighbors. We can be “better than” as a community and I hope we strive to do so.

Jessica Karraker



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