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Where do we go from here?

It’s been a turbulent few weeks for the United States. Set against the backdrop of a global pandemic, tensions have flared in cities across America as protests in the name of racial justice blend with calls for police reform.

At the end of the day, what do these protests, and this movement, mean for Beaufort County and the people who live here?

That in turn leads to other questions, each of which we should try to answer as a community:

  • What is the current state of racial relations in Beaufort County?
  • Are we overall more united, or more divided based on these qualities?
  • How prominent is racism in Beaufort County, and how can we move beyond it?
  • How can the people of Beaufort County come together and start a meaningful dialogue on the subject?
  • Looking at our own law enforcement agencies, what are they doing well? Where could they improve? How can citizens and officers come together to discuss these issues on common ground?
  • Does everyone get a fair shake at justice in Beaufort County? How can we make sure that’s the case?
  • What responsibilities do our local elected and appointed officials have to help foster these conversations?

Ultimately, the question becomes, where does our community go from here? No one will deny that these are tough questions, and we don’t claim to have the answers. But can we afford to let those questions go unasked? Is this the correct time to look in the mirror and have a conversation about what we see?

Every day, people of all walks of life, all colors and all cultural backgrounds work side by side to make Beaufort County what it is. That’s something we should be proud of and something to celebrate. It’s that same sense of unity, and love for our neighbors, that has the power to erase the barriers of race that have stood so steadfast in the past. There’s never been a better time to ask the question, “What can we do better?”