Racism is a major problem in our country and in the world as well, but let’s talk about how we can end this in our country.

The first point to consider is, we are all Americans. We live in the United States of America. The key word here is United. E Pluribus Unum – out of many one – has been used since the founding of our country. It signifies the unity of our nation. The unity of our people. We are one nation under God. The motto, In God We Trust, was adopted in 1956. This means our nation was founded with the belief in God. While we have the right to believe as we choose, or not to believe, the Founding Fathers all had a belief in God, as the higher power.

We as Americans must live and support each other. Just as any sport team must work together, we must work together to be Americans. To whatever extent, we must strive to be successful. And work to help our neighbors be successful. Co-operation with each other, stand up for and with each other. The key here is working together.

The prevailing thought is, that we are African-Americans, Native-Americans, Polish-Americans, Hispanic-Americans or any other ethnic hyphenated Americans is contrary to being a united country. We shouldn’t forget our ethnic and cultural beliefs and traditions, but first and foremost we should remember we are all Americans. Bound together geographically, within the established outlines as seen on any map.

We arrived here, or our ancestors arrived here from all over the world, bringing various cultural traditions. These are traditions we may not want to participate in, but we need to respect the other traditions. That is what it means to be an American.

For the past several centuries people have come to the shores of the then New World, in search of a better life. They brought their beliefs and traditions, established communities, and built our nation. It wasn’t easy. There were problems, violence, and wars. But there was also peace and prosperity, for those who worked for it.

Those people who saw opportunity, and worked to maximize the benefits, achieved the American dream. Individual and collective effort and hard work is the only way for all of us to succeed.

However, what we’ve seen lately are demands for equality and threats if those demands are not met. There has been a complete disregard for others — their ideas, beliefs, opinions, traditions and even their property.

Groups of protesters — or to use the more accurate term – gangs of rioters – have rampaged our cities, destroyed homes and looted businesses. That isn’t what America stands for. Lack of respect for others will cause the chaos we’ve seen.

Both sides, every side, must respect others, even while disagreeing with them, to solve our differences and problems. Destruction of our cities isn’t the answer. Protesting is a right, peaceful protesting that is, but not rioting and destruction of public and private property.

This may sound naive or simplistic, but has anyone or group tried this idea? To end racism we must, all of us, must respect our differences, realize the only way to survive is to agree to disagree and respect other viewpoints. First and foremost, we must remember, we are all Americans. E Pluibus Unum.

We need to work together, not fight each other, to respect our cultural and ethnic diversity, our Freedom and the American way of life.

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.