Sit down and talk, don’t riot

Listening to certain political candidates, we hear they want to fundamentally change our country.
Well, it is too late to do that, it is already being done. Look around, listen and observe. Because of
the pandemic and how we deal with it, we have to wear masks in public, social distance, avoid crowds and
worry about our children’s schooling. We can’t go to church and we have to wash our hands regularly.
Need I go on?
The virus has already changed our society. Businesses are closed. While some are now reopening, it is on
a limited basis. Entry into stores and buildings is limited. We must avoid large crowds. All or at least
most of our routine daily activities are restricted.
Our country has been transformed, trying to solve the pandemic. This has developed into a political
battle.
While the pandemic is raging, Confederate monuments are being removed, names of military posts are being
challenged, and sports team names are under fire — all because of the offensive nature.
Why not change the names of cities and states that have Native American names as well? Aren’t these
offensive, too? There are always going to be some people who don’t like something.
There are more people who don’t want these changes. That doesn’t make them insensitive or racist. There
is always more than one opinion and attitude out there.
Making demands for one’s personal feelings and beliefs isn’t what this country stands for. Remember, we
are a melting pot. People from various parts of the world came to the United States for freedom and
opportunity.
Different beliefs, attitudes and traditions make our country unique and special. With these differences,
comes a mutual respect for others. To force everyone to follow the same beliefs, attitudes and
traditions is not what America is about.
Protesting is a right — peaceful protesting that is. Rioting, burning and looting is not a right.
Assaulting those who disagree with you is not a right. Demanding change to fit an agenda is not a right.

Honest and fair elections is a right and should be respected by all. Changes in the system should be
agreeable to all, not just one portion of our country.
Fundamental change isn’t what most Americans want. Dealing with problems and working together to solve
them is the American way. To solve the virus problem we need to do what is needed, not fight and argue
about it, and not blame each other. To solve the racial problem we need to stop the name calling and
false accusations and talk, not riot.
Fundamental change will come only when we the people peacefully sit down and discuss this in a mature
manner. We don’t need conflict, we need peace. Be part of the solution, not the problem.
Herb Dettmer is a retired Bowling Green resident, U.S. Army veteran and writes this column
representing the viewpoint of “Joe Average” citizen. He is freelance writer and author of “Others,” a
devotional book. Call or text “Joe” with comments at 419-494-4641.