What you do not know is what you cannot trust. That is evident based on the reaction to the Black Lives Matter protests by some Elizabethtown businesses, which have seemingly decided it is better to not trust than it is to know your community.

As unrest expresses itself across the nation, I believe a divide has opened between the Elizabethtown community and the businesses that service it.

A tremendous bonding of the community occurred during the Black Lives Matter protest in Elizabethtown. We saw what solidarity with an oppressed population looks like. Our community members demonstrated that they are listening, hurting and willing to learn. We saw an understanding between our police department and community that will strengthen the relationships that are vital to a just society.

However, a fear preceded the event that exposed the very issue for which it was purposed. The words “black” and “protest” combined in a way to cause “fear” and “panic” for some. The mention of the movement that demands change to a systemic system of injustice compelled the precise reaction for why it exists. Folks, open your dictionaries and review the definition of racism.

I understand there was worry of looting that occurred in a few other locations. I heard the rumors that buses with anti-facist groups might arrive.

I believe some businesses fell into the trap. They seemingly pleaded for anyone with a concealed-carry permit to help — and then militia occupied our downtown. As the Elizabethtown community bonded together, some business owners were essentially watching them from the buttstock of a gun.

Timothy Runkle

Elizabethtown