“Community” and “thankful” were words heard often in the immediate aftermath of the recent shootings in Dallas. Hours later, the usual crowd arrived, stoking polarities. News anchors noted the shift. But, Dallas citizens, from the mayor to the many citizens placed before microphones, keep returning to the trust and pride they had in their community.
Community is emerging as the political gold standard in the 21st century. Modern culture often disrupts local communities. What is emerging now is the clear understanding that communities create prosperous lives, safe streets and anchored citizens. Strong local economies and institutions create winners, not victims.
Jobs, safety and respect haven’t been high on a polarized political stage for a while. But that is changing. Dallas was a wake-up call to school districts, pastors and local public servants. They are at the center of things, not on the periphery. Community matters.
Building strong communities is a cooperative venture. Strong policing is the product of strong neighborhoods. Strong neighborhoods come from strong schools, sports teams, shops, churches and families.
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Embracing victimhood is often justified. But is it helpful? For politicians, actual support for strong communities has become an act of self-interest, as well as service.
Richard Bailey, Reedley