Editor, There are four states that have counties named Liberty. After reading Liberty County Commissioner Gary Gilliard’s recent letter to the editor, I’m not sure which Liberty County he was referring to. Surely not Georgia’s Liberty County.
He wrote that the ills of our county are jobs, homelessness, racial profiling, voting rights, stand-your-ground laws and blatant racism.
Here are my thoughts on those issues:
• Jobs: Yes, there is an unemployment problem, which was created by the elected folks in Washington, D.C. I think Liberty County, Ga., is holding its own in that debate, though.
• Homelessness: Yes, we have homeless here, but if they really want help (some do not), they can contact Deacon Adna Chaffee and the Fraser Center — problem solved.
• Racial profiling: My Amerasian sons have been stopped by the police before, not because of their ethnicity, but because they broke the law, were on the verge of doing something illegal or weren’t using common sense (blaring radios that can be heard from three blocks away is not using very good judgment). We turned those incidents into good “teaching moment” for them, though.
• Voting rights: I don’t see much problem with that here. Last time I voted, I showed my ID and was allowed to vote.
Liberty County, Ga., is diverse, and we’re fortunate to have an African-American commission chairman, African-American mayors and council/commission members of various ethnicities. They fill those elected positions because we do not have a voting-rights problem here.
• Stand-your-ground laws: I, for one, am elated that I have the right and the responsibility to protect my loved ones and property from those who wish to do us wrong. Rather than run away or cower in a corner somewhere, I prefer to stand up to someone who threatens me. Additionally, I believe it is my responsibility to assist my unarmed neighbors if the need arises.
• Blatant racism: I can’t remember seeing any of the attributes of blatant racism here in Liberty County. We have integrated schools with students, faculty members and staffers of all ethnic backgrounds. If we do have separate drinking fountains for different races, I haven’t seen one since we moved here. I have yet to find a store in Liberty County that doesn’t embrace patrons of all ethnicities, and I don’t believe they’d be in business for very long if they refused service to anyone.
I’m glad Commissioner Gilliard was able to attend the 50th anniversary celebration of Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech. I actually witnessed the original, and I’m certain Dr. King and all the others who were in attendance that day would proudly agree that the tribulations of yesteryear are a thing of the past.
I’m proud to be able to live here and express my two cents’ worth.
— Bruce A. McCartney
Trade Hill Community