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August 10, 2020

7/15/2020 8:33:00 AM
Live in Harmony

Dear Editor:
­In the early 1980's Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder combined their talents to compose and record a song entitled "Ebony and Ivory." I have been playing that song from time to time lately. However, Monday I played it after watching the news and before I knew it my eyes were watering up with tears.
As you may have guessed the song is comparing the relationship between the white and black keys on a piano to the relationship between white and black people. However, it does not have to be limited to that. It can speak to any group of people who have opposing views and opposing needs.
There is a line in the song that says "We learn when we learn to give each other what we need to survive together you and I." Those words are not about taking care of each other's physical needs. They are talking about listening to each other even if our views differ.
Right now, our country is more divided than I have ever seen and to be honest it scares me. We are in the midst of a presidential race. When this year began we knew this race was going to be part of 2020 and we knew it would bring about opposing views. However, we have been through presidential elections before so why would this be any different. Yet early on there were opposing views and differing opinions. It seemed we needed to begin remembering "We learn when we learn to give each other what we need to survive together you and I."
Then while 2020 was still a young year we started to hear about an epidemic known as Corona that was sweeping through certain countries and perhaps was in our nation. Before we knew it, this pandemic was sweeping our nation and our life long definition of normal was gone.
The Corona Virus began making thousands extremely ill and worst yet it was taking thousands of lives. Across the nation people all began isolating at home as much as possible and wearing masks when it was necessary yo go out. Schools, churches, businesses, and countless other establishments closed their doors in an attempt to at least slow the virus down.
All these changes in our normal way of life seemed to be paying off as the spread of the Corona Virus seemed to be slowing down. Therefore, some people thought certain establishments could open up if people wore masks and used social distancing. Others thought everything should open up and that masks and social distancing were up to each induvial. Still others felt everything should stay closed.
This has led to strong opposing views and differing opinions and has left some of us not knowing what to do. "We learn when we learn to give each other what we need to survive together you and I."
I would like to add a side note here. I cannot express in words my thankfulness and my respect to those who have a job that has required you to go to work through all of this time. Also, I want to include those of you for whom working at home was a totally new concept and meant jumping through new hurdles. For example, teachers and students.
While picking a president, or deciding whether places should be open or not, divided our country somewhat, there came the event that would bring us to our knees. A black man by the name of George Floyd was stopped by the police for problems with how he had paid at a convenient store. People who were watching the encounter said Floyd seemed to be cooperative. However, one of the white cops who had stopped him got Floyd down on the ground. Then George Floyd was killed in one of the most heinous ways there has ever been.
It is my belief that the cop who committed this unspeakable act and other cops who watched did not know their every move was being videoed by a man with a cell phone.
I am going to begin writing my article in this paper again and you will find that I do not voice my opinion about controversial issues. However, I will voice my opinion here. No human being regardless of their skin color or crimes they may have committed, should be killed the way George Floyd was.
His death and the additional similar deaths like his that have now been brought to light, have divided this nation to a point many of us have never seen.
"Ebony and Ivory" begins with the line "Ebony and ivory live in perfect harmony, side by side on my piano oh Lord why don't we?"
Now I am not so naïve as to believe that one song is going to heal our nation. I wrote this to invite you to do two things. First of all, watch the national news and then listen to the song "Ebony and Ivory." Then ask the Lord how do we give each other what we need to live side by side in harmony?
Pam Fingerson, Dodgeville

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