The daisies are blooming. In light of all the frightening and negative news around us — the simple act of blooming by what some consider a roadside weed was a welcome reminder there are still good things all around us.
For me, this humble blossom is a symbol of simpler and more contented times. After a morning of hearing horrifying news stories and personal emails and text messages from friends who had had their homes and places of work vandalized and looted, I was angry. And scared for the future.
My friends, young couples, one in Minneapolis, one in Columbus are both new homeowners. They sunk their savings and the majority of their resources into their homes, and both had to flee with what they could fit into their cars for their personal safety because thugs were breaking windows, busting down doors while looting and destroying whatever took their fancy. Wedding and baby shower gifts — gone. Broken furniture, graffiti and human excrement left as reminders of horrific disregard. Also gone — the feeling of home and safety.
A third-floor window was shattered, and the glass sprayed into the baby’s crib and on the changing table. This sweet oasis decorated with butterflies and sunflowers to welcome their precious child will now forever be a reminder of their vulnerability.
Another acquaintance, who had been barely holding on to her business, due to required closing, had been excited to reopen her beauty shop. She and her staff had been working on taking steps to protect their customers and themselves and were looking forward to welcoming their regulars back into the shop. Rioters smashed the plate glass window, ripped the chairs from their mooring and tore sinks from the walls. Looters stole their supplies, cash register and their future. She doesn’t think insurance will cover the expenses to rebuild and she feels too defeated to try.
Each of these acts were senseless and served no purpose in creating social justice, nor did it benefit anyone except the opportunistic thieves involved. What it will accomplish is this — there will be one less minority owned business providing a service and jobs in a community that needs both.
There will probably be one less attorney who works, volunteers and lives in an area they no longer feel is safe for their family. The same for the social worker who worked and lived near many of her clients. Chances are, they may have even known some of the people who destroyed their sense of belonging.
Another sad aspect is that each of these individuals are heavily involved in the neighborhood; donating time and resources to local food and clothing pantries, tutoring adults who were struggling to get their GED’s, donating to youth centers and local churches. Their exodus will leave a void which others seem reluctant to fill, impoverishing the area further.
This is result of the lawless behavior taking place in our communities, it’s not spawning peaceful progress on race relations or conversations with law enforcement, or opportunity for jobs and advancement. All it creates is an area where less businesses and individuals are willing to invest personal or professional resources due to savage annihilation by a few vindictive and criminally inclined people.
All that will be left behind will be empty and boarded up homes and businesses, where even the daisies will not grow.
Written and submitted by Sarah Roush for The Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.