The following is a “Letter to the Editor” that was published in the September 26th, 2020 edition of the Herald-Zeitung.
In his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on 28 August 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke about the promise expressed in our Constitution and in our Declaration of Independence. A promise that “all men, yes, black men and white men, would be guaranteed the inalienable right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Recent demonstrations in New Braunfels, decrying the BLM movement with boisterous noises and the display of firearms, appear to negate that promise. These recent community incidents do not reflect our national values.
We strongly support and stand by our Mayor Rusty Brockman. He wrote, “Some members of our community have felt attacked, demoralized, misunderstood, and concerned. This is not the New Braunfels that I know and love.”
We also support and stand by Mr. Henry Ford the founder of the local chapter of the MLK Association. He was quoted recently when speaking about peaceful campaigning by stating, “When someone is threatening others, this a different story. African-Americans are afraid for their lives.”
No one should be afraid to live in our city.
We, the Rev. Addae A. Kraba and the the Board of Trustees of the Unitarian Universalists Church of New Braunfels, stand up and strongly state, “This Is Wrong!”
Our church has several principles that we live by. We believe there should be justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. We also believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We believe in the peaceful expression of democratic right and values, with kindness in all human interactions. We are sure that other churches in our community hold these beliefs too.
We would like to encourage other religious churches and organizations to come forth and support our mayor and our city council as well as the MLK Association. While the actions of groups like these convoys are legal, our city council can pass city ordinances that lessen the fear and stress to our citizens. Possible solutions include, but not limited to, parade permits, limits on number of vehicles in a convoy, police escorts, no horn-honking zones, no shouting at citizens. No one in our community should ever feel threatened, nor live in fear.
These incidents of harassment, intended or not, are not what our community stand for. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ends his speech with his “Let Freedom’Ring” statements.
We can all work together to create a better future. It is up to all of us to say, “Let Freedom Ring” from the Streets of the Great City of New Braunfels.
Rev Addae Kraba and UUNB Board of Trustees