Dave Richards' Weekly Column in The Woonsocket Call

Dave Richards for December 23th……

--Most folks who write opinion columns in newspapers are spouting off about the ‘worldwide protests’ regarding the grand jury decisions in Missouri and New York and have been for weeks. You might think everything that could be said about it has been said, but there is one thing which I am not reading in all this verbiage, so I’m finally going to make my own comment on all this supposed racial unrest in the headlines recently. It won’t take long to make my point.

Thanks to generations of hard work and sacrifice, it is my observation that relations between black and white citizens have, on the whole, risen to a level of respect and cordiality unseen before in our country’s history. Professional agitators have stirred up all this unrest and instigated looting and lawlessness. They say they are protesting the fact that a police officer who killed a suspect wasn’t punished for it. What they are not saying is the truth. He WAS punished, because he cannot be a cop anymore because of them. But they aren’t satisfied with making him unemployable in his chosen profession. Now, some well- meaning people may also be protesting, but the spark of lawlessness came from professionals.

Professionals have also seized upon the issue of a similar incident in New York. As a result of this, this past weekend one or more thugs felt justified to open fire and ambush a couple of police officers in New York killing them. As of this writing, we do not know if the gunmen or women were black or white, but it is very difficult not to jump to a conclusion. Because when you look at history and even the record of this past year white police officers have been slain by black people a number of times, just as black people have been killed by white people.

The fact is, we have a system of laws. And we have a system of how to deal with those who break the laws. Killing anyone is wrong but it is not always unlawful. Our society has made an exception for state prison executioners, soldiers, and law enforcement professionals for the times when they must kill in the line of duty. If you want to disagree with this or how it’s done, that’s your prerogative. But the system is there and it was used in both these cases.

My point is simple. Two ‘wrongs’ don’t make a ‘right’. Neither do three ‘wrongs’ or four or more ‘wrongs’. Somebody has got to break the chain of wrong events or you end up with a very sad legacy. The first step is to reject the rhetoric of professional agitators.

--Now that I have that bit of unpleasantness out of the way, and as this is our last visit in these pages before the Christmas holiday, I thought I’d mention a few things to illustrate why I’m having a Merry Christmas already. I am very happy because as much as there is bad in the world, there is also much good. And I’d like to share my happiness with you.

Our Milk Fund Radio Auction is winding down from a very successful fundraising season. We still have a few dozen items to auction off today and tomorrow, including two very special items. They are gifts from two area people who know the most special gifts are ones which make good memories. John and Diane Wenckelium have a condo up in Maine at the wonderful Sugarloaf resort. They enjoy taking time off up there but they have given up two weekends next year, one in January and one in October and have donated them to our auction. These extended weekend stays at Sugarloaf will sell as the last two items on tomorrow’s last auction, sometime after 9am. Full details are available at www.woonsocketradio.com. I am deeply indebted to these two good people and also to all the others who have donated items or been on the winning end of auction items for the last three weeks. Also, a big thanks to Jackie Boudreau, Shirley Clough, and Gert Franco for their volunteer work collecting items.

I am also thankful for the gift of music shared by hundreds of students at Woonsocket High School, North Smithfield High School, Burrillville High School, and Mount Saint Charles Academy. I have again been blessed to feel the warmth of friendship as I made my customary rounds to the Holiday Concerts to record this year’s editions. They will all broadcast on Christmas Day on our radio station and with video on our website. You’ll see a complete list with broadcast times in our display ad elsewhere in this newspaper.

You know, for many years Hollywood and others have been offering stories of “Christmas Miracles”. They are very entertaining and heartwarming. The Christmas Miracle I witness every year is much lower in profile than those from Hollywood but no less miraculous. It is the generosity and spirit of giving in thousands of little ways by ordinary people, people giving from their hearts, as I have described in the previous paragraphs.

I find a lot of good in people. I don’t think one must look hard to see it and I delight in it. The Christmas Miracle I rejoice in receiving this year is that there is so much good in the world and my heart is constantly warmed by the thought of it. This is my Merry Christmas. I wish for you the same, dear reader.

--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to dave@onworldwide.com or mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. Thanks for reading. And thank you for remembering The Milk Fund.


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