Friday, September 21, 2018
News Roundup

Sarah Whitman: In the wake of Charlottesville, America must do better

TAMPA — Charlottesville happened.

Nearly 250 years into our country's story, Americans maintain the right to say and even do what to me (and I pray you), seem like unthinkable things.

I do not question why people can march a campus shouting racial slurs and divisive rhetoric. I question why they chose to do so. For the love of God, why? That is what came to mind when I saw the photographs and read the stories.

Why do so many people take pride in hate? And how do they claim violence in the name of a higher power? I cannot answer these questions. I can however say this: The God I believe in weeps for the broken and humble. The God I believe in loves in spite of. The God I believe in is bigger than politics, flags and malformed attitudes.

America remains a child, born with promise but still learning. In this imperfect world, where people, like lands, rise and fall, we forge ahead as a rebellious prodigy. We can do better. We can be better. But it requires of us something difficult: to put aside the need to be right. It requires unity.

On Aug. 13, the Diocese of St. Petersburg held an event promoting open and civil dialogue regarding immigration. More than 80 people attended the talk at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Tampa. Men and women shared stories of their families coming to the United States. They expressed conflicting opinions without rage.

"When you create a dialogue, it creates empathy," said Sabrina Burton Schultz, Director of Life Ministry for the Diocese. "You can be civil even in disagreement."

The Diocese began planning the event about a year ago. As organizers trained facilitators Aug. 12, they watched the violence erupting in Charlottesville. The conversation became, if possible, even more important, Burton Schultz said.

So how do we move forward? I don't know. The words "the future" are striking at this point. Three years ago, I did not imagine a future where a White Nationalist movement stood emergent from the shadows. I did not imagine an American divided on basic civil rights.

I only know those of us who view the incidents in Charlottesville as inexcusable must exercise our rights as well. We must continue to speak out and unite our voices for the good of our country.

Contact Sarah Whitman at [email protected]

Comments
Carlton: The siege of Red Tide: No walk on the beach

Carlton: The siege of Red Tide: No walk on the beach

This week, on one of the last mornings of summer, I went walking on one of our Gulf beaches, the sunrise warming my back. It could not have been prettier ó the sky cloudless, the water a quiet blue, a lone Brown Pelican skimming the surface.If you co...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Baggers, cashiers soon can grow beards at Publix

Baggers, cashiers soon can grow beards at Publix

ORLANDO — The faces of baggers, cashiers and stockers at a Florida-based grocery chain may look slightly different in the near future.That's because Publix said Friday that it would start allowing workers to grow beards and other facial hair b...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Hillsborough school district releases list of referendum purchase items

Hillsborough school district releases list of referendum purchase items

TAMPA --- Anderson Elementary School will get two new playgrounds. Chiles Elementary will get carpets and floors. Madison Middle School will get new stage lights and a repaved parking lot.All that, and air conditioning overhauls throughout the school...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bobís Carpet and Flooring heir paid hundreds of thousands dollars for drugs, federal court records show

Bobís Carpet and Flooring heir paid hundreds of thousands dollars for drugs, federal court records show

Robert Butler III, an heir to a well-known local flooring chain that bears his fatherís name, participated in a money laundering scheme and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for cocaine and marijuana in recent years, according to federal court re...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Gallery: Red Tide fouls Pinellas County beaches

The worst and most extensive Red Tide algae bloom since the 2005 outbreak has reached the Gulf Coast. The Tampa Bay Times photojournalists documented scenes of how the algae blooms are affecting local businesses, beaches, and wildlife as it saturates...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: For Florida officials, it's always Hammer time; St. Pete says couple can't park on its new $15,000 driveway; and more

Top 5 at noon: For Florida officials, it's always Hammer time; St. Pete says couple can't park on its new $15,000 driveway; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:NRA SWAY: FOR FLORIDA OFFICIALS, IT'S ALWAYS HAMMER TIMEThose who work in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services never know when National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Examining Florida-Tennessee, FSU-NIU and the other state college football matchups

Examining Florida-Tennessee, FSU-NIU and the other state college football matchups

† Eye on the NFL draft At 6-foot-1, 237 pounds, Northern Illinois DE Sutton Smith doesn't have NFL size, but he does have next-level productivity. He ranked in the top four nationally last year in sacks, tackles for loss and fumbles forced/recovere...
Updated: 2 hours ago
They spent $15,000 adding a driveway to their St. Pete House. Now the city says they canít park on it

They spent $15,000 adding a driveway to their St. Pete House. Now the city says they canít park on it

ST. PETERSBURG ó One day in January, Dana Cremo was on her front porch hanging a vintage screen door when two city employees walked up. "You canít park on your driveway," they said. "Why?" she asked. "Because somebody filed a complaint," they said. F...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pasco Business Digest for Sept. 28

Pasco Business Digest for Sept. 28

BrieflyPARADE APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE: The Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce will host the 2018 "Magical Night Christmas Parade," sponsored by Florida Hospital Dade City/Zephyrhills on Dec. 7 on 8th Street, Dade City. Applications for se...
Updated: 2 hours ago