To the editor:
Many colleges offer excellence in their curricula. Because Oberlin College offers both excellence in its offerings and boasts a history of commitment to social justice, arguably, its graduates may be better prepared to face a world begging for solutions to problems.
No less a compelling argument can be made that our city shines well above virtually all others. Admittedly, racism, anti-Semitism, and sexism are all found in both. Still, many of us who were born elsewhere find that no two institutions are more dedicated to exterminate all vestiges of injustice and discrimination than the college and the city.
This raging desire to pursue justice and fairness cannot be taken for granted; each day brings with it the need to fight harder even if we are far ahead of our nearest competitors. For example, it is time to appoint a new police chief, a decision that could affect adversely the progressive dynamics of the city for a long time to come. At this late juncture, the best solution starts with all sides focusing first on what is best for the city rather than what is best for any one segment or aspect of the city. We must trust that city council, the city manager, and the few police officers all want what is best for the city. The second step is for all these parties to resolve the matter discreetly, not publicly.
The tone set recently by our NAACP, William Robinson, and others underscoring how far we have come but how far we still have to go must be taken seriously. We must all work toward healing, reconciliation, and forgiveness. Little is gained by an all-out, unrestrained public fight in the 21st century. We must all expect and support a final decision reflecting what is best for our city.
Booker C. Peek