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This Is a Time for Calm Heads

Aug. 31, 2005 – We are shocked and distressed at the news of a brutal attack on a St. John woman. All energies – including those of federal agencies – should be focused on finding the perpetrators.
Meanwhile we call upon all public officials to walk a road of sanity and equanimity during this time of confusion and fear.
We were as shocked by the reaction of some of our leaders as we were at the report of the attack.
To suggest immediately, without evidence of any kind, that this crime was racially motivated is irresponsible and has the potential to ignite an already volatile situation on St. John.
One senator wrote in a press release that the alleged rapists "would drive these black individuals from land which they believe should be reserved only for whites."
How does he know this?
Other community leaders have harkened back to slave revolts of the 1700s and Fountain Valley.
What is the point of this, we must ask.
A woman has been brutally violated. That is what we know from the police. That is all we know.
We expect our "leaders" to take the high road, calling upon the citizenry to remain calm and wait for further reports from the police before jumping to dangerous conclusions.
There are no doubt serious social and economic problems on St. John that need to be addressed.
And we also call upon our leaders to address those problems forthrightly and immediately.
But to use the personal tragedy of an individual to push an agenda that promises to bring only further anger and division is dangerous and inappropriate.

Editors note:We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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