To help bring our community together in a time of extreme polarization, LebTown has invited a variety of community leaders to share columns this week on the topic of unitedness and healing.

We feel this topic is important to discuss given the unprecedented protest activity we witnessed across the nation last week, as well as the increased stress felt right now by many due to the ongoing public health and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

If you would like to submit your own column to LebTown, please start by reading our guidelines here.

Racial tensions and divide have existed throughout the history of mankind, and specifically throughout the history of the United States. Recently, there have been anti-racism rallies held around the nation. Every American citizen should be actively supporting this cause, that race should never be an issue that divides any Americans.

George Floyd was treated inappropriately by four men who were police officers. Each of these men have now been charged criminally as a result of their actions.

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This assault has led to increased racial tension, and increased tension between segments of our citizenry and law enforcement. The actions of these four men should not and cannot be used as an indictment of law enforcement as a whole around our nation. Our nation is now enmeshed in rioting, looting, and other significant criminal activity in the streets and neighborhoods of many of our cities.

As I referenced above, I fully support and endorse any legitimate effort to combat racism. People of every race, color, and background deserve equal treatment and equal opportunities. Racism has no place in a civilized society, and every one of us have an obligation to our neighbors and ourselves to treat one another respectfully.

Part of our obligation is that as we combat racism, we must be careful not to reignite the flames of the emotional tinderbox that racist behavior has created. Anti-racism must not turn into anti-police.

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We are better than this, every one of us.

State Sen. Dave Arnold represents the 48th senatorial district, which includes Lebanon County.

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