Community leaders in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania came together earlier this week to ensure that what happened in Virginia doesn’t happen in their community.
Local NAACP chapter President Esther Lee has been watching the unfolding unrest with trepidation and concern.
“I think it’s all senseless. All senseless… You know, we’re 108 years in as NAACPers and we might think things would improve, but they do not. You know we still have this factor about black and white,” Lee told WFMZ.
She noted that the color of our skin should not matter, “What does that have to do with it? I bleed red blood.”
Lee’s fellow local leader, Stephanie Hnatiw, the Executive Director of the YWCA, wanted to make sure that the agitators knew that their community would not tolerate the anger and destruction. “We’re not going to tolerate what happened in Virginia. It’s not going to happen here. We have good people here, we won’t let it.”
Ms. Lee worries that the violence we’ve seen over the last few months might continue to spread, and she argues that the leftwing attacks on the nation’s history are counterproductive. She told the local news that vandalism of these monuments is wrong, and that it’s not the place of protesters to tear down monuments that the community erected.
“You know that’s history. That was in that point in time. You can’t eliminate what history is. So I disapprove with young people pulling down those statues,” Lee says. Of the repercussions she sadly noted that “A young woman died. Two officers were murdered in a plane crash and all for what? Because somebody in their mind decided, “we don’t need to look at that anymore…. It shouldn’t be.”
Lee also offered an answer to the protesters on how to affect real change, and this is where she really gets everything right. After saying that everyone should pray for our President, she reminded people that compassion is the surer road to real change, not hate and violence. Love might not be as satisfying as anger, and violence for the far-left… but if they really want to change the world, love always works better.
While Lee doesn’t agree with President Trump on everything, she does think that history should be left to stand and advises others to join her in praying for the president.
“I would pray that he would gain the strength to do what’s necessary in the job, at least for these four years,” she says.
Lee says maybe things aren’t what they should be. But that doesn’t mean hate and hurt need to win.
She says, instead, what we should do, is widen our circle of compassion.
One leader asked the crowd to join him in repeating a phrase: “Love overcomes violence every day.”
Esther Lee’s commentary comes about 2 minutes into the below video: