I have read the Walterboro and Charleston newspaper articles that detailed the efforts my hometown has made to prepare for the Murdaugh murder trial which commences this week. Having followed the news reports from reputable outlets across South Carolina and beyond, I have been pondering the source of all that has transpired (both civil and criminal charges)—and I have decided that it boils down to one thing: entitlement. Like I am sure others, I have prided myself on differentiating Colleton County from neighboring Hampton County—but I have recently wondered if my pride could be misplaced—or at least inflated.
Are there instances where some individuals in our area have not been called to task for infractions based on their comparative wealth and/or standing in the community? Are others reluctant/afraid to call attention to or report these infractions? Have some become emboldened by their failure to be held accountable?
As I examined the bounds of entitlement, I asked myself—are the people of our town and county entitled to equal opportunities for healthcare, education and employment? Are we entitled to efforts by our elected officials to take proactive steps to remedy inequities in these opportunities? Are all races entitled to have the peaceful enjoyment of our homes—instead of enduring low-flying jets lured to our airport with favorable personal property taxes and hangar fees--all in the name of promised jobs that have not materialized? Are we entitled to traverse our neighborhoods without fear of being shot, robbed or mauled by vicious dogs? If carless, are we able to walk to jobs and stores on streets with adequate lighting and adjacent, obstruction-free walkways?
Ride/walk around certain parts of town and ask yourself these questions.
Good people—don’t stay silent.
Alexandria, VA and Walterboro, SC