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In recent days we have received numerous emails, some as letters to the editor, others just addressed to the Big Bear Grizzly regarding the June 3 editorial titled “All Lives Matter.” Please accept this as our apology.

In no way was the editorial meant to offend nor to insult the Black Lives Matter movement. As many of you have pointed out in your messages to us, all lives do matter, but the phrase itself shifts the focus from those whose lives are in peril. Black Lives Matter, and the Grizzly staff did not mean to diminish that in any way. Ignorance is not an excuse, but in this case ignorance of the problematic use of all lives matter is at the core of the problems it caused when we used it in the June 3 editorial.

At no time did we mean to create a divide nor to whitewash our opposition to the racial divide in this country, this state and this community. At no time should anyone apologize for the color of his or her skin, but more importantly no one should ever have to live in fear because of the color of his or her skin. No one should be afraid to drive down a street wondering if a police officer will turn on the lights and sirens just because of the color of one’s skin. No one should be segregated or ostracized or judged because of the color of one’s skin.

Yet, Black men, women and children do live in fear because of the color of their skin. Blacks are afraid to drive down a street because they wonder if they will be pulled over because of the color of their skin. Blacks are segregated and ostracized and judged because of the color of their skin.

Racism needs to be eradicated not only in this country, but around the world. We agree we can’t just say we aren’t racist. We have to believe it, feel it, live it and become anti-racist.

We strongly oppose the violence against Blacks at the hands of law enforcement. The death of George Floyd brings to the forefront behavior that has long been overlooked, swept under the rug, accepted and in some cases even celebrated. That behavior needs to be stopped. Those who have the ability to affect change have ignored their responsibility and perpetuated racist beliefs that contribute to the divide in this country.

The Big Bear Grizzly supports those who have taken to the streets in protest of the racial divide and to honor Floyd. We have covered the peaceful protests that have taken place in our community, and we will continue to do so. We don’t support those in other areas who have used the peaceful protests as a cover for rioting and looting, and we hope those activities don’t find their way to Big Bear.

We do believe the conversations to wipe out racism need to be held with open hearts and open minds. A conversation needs two sides to listen and learn, and two sides to seek to understand.

The Big Bear Grizzly was wrong in using the all lives matter phrase and headline, and we accept responsibility for our mistake. We appreciate readers reaching out to us telling us they were offended, pointing out the ways we disrespected and undermined the Black Lives Matter movement. Again, we apologize. We at no time meant to offend, insult, disrespect nor undermine, but recognize how we did so.

Not only are conversations necessary, but education is vital to end racism. We are grateful to our readers for educating us and for sharing your thoughts, your feelings and the pain you felt by the editorial. We hear you, and you have my commitment to keep listening with open minds and open hearts.

History cannot be erased. But the sins of the past cannot be ignored. We must learn from those mistakes so we don’t continue to repeat them.

Our goal is to educate with the platform we have as a community newspaper. The Grizzly has been educated by our readers. We see your willingness to share your thoughts and feelings on the editorial as the beginning of the conversation. We hope your see our apology and the commitment to keep listening and to do better each and every day as a next step in the conversation and in the education process.

We will do better. We must all do better. We must bridge the divide and create equality for all in this country. We are committed to starting to build the bridge right here, in Big Bear, right now. Black Lives Matter.

(10) comments

Skittered

Kudos to the Grizzly for its important words of healing and solidarity with those who care about working to end racism and create a just society for all.

zrokids62

Agreed, Skittered. For those of us who read past the headline of the opinion piece, we knew that the piece meant to be supportive and healing. The sentiment isn't that ONLY black lives matter.

Kbauch

I call BS on this. All lives DO matter. Don't care about offending a small group of people. Everyone agrees the cop was wrong and should be held accountable for his actions. However Georg Flloyd was not an upstanding citizen & should not be made out to be otherwise. We as Americans need to stop being manipulated by media. Stand up for what you truly believe.

Patrice8

I call BS on your BS. This moment in history is about George Floyd, a black man, murdered at the hands of a police officer. His name could have been Emmett, Breonna, or Ahmaud. When as a white women did

you have to fear for your life when you left your home ? I am guessing never. It is not a small group that is speaking up, it is America saying ENOUGH!

crusher

All lives matter, why is that not right with you, why are you apologizing ? are you pandering to anything that doesn't say the word "black", All lives matter, All lives matter, All lives matter. There I said it.

TreasureOrtiz

Thank you for taking the time to apologize and correct your words. What was written this time was the message that the community should have read the first time. Your willingness to see your error helps correct the path that we have been going down, acknowledging there is a problem is the first step in solving it. Thank you for listening to the concerns of your readers and community.

Jeff

In the interest of combating ignorance and racism, let's be clear that the reason the movement is called "black lives matter," is because it is overwhelmingly African Americans that die at the hands of police officers in America, by a factor of some 5X the proportion of the black population in the USA. Yes, of course it's true that ALL lives matter, but it isn't true that white suspects are killed in custody, or in confrontations with police, with anywhere near the frequency that is the reality for blacks, particularly for young black males. Ignoring such a blatant disparity isn't just ignorant. It's racist. By the way, Judi, the term of which you are so fond should be spelled, "effect" change. The verb, "effect" means, 'to bring about.'

mountainqueen

You are incorrect. In 2019, 370 whites, 238 blacks and 158 Hispanics were killed by police officers.

patfoley

Of course All Lives Matter - but until Black Lives TRULY matter, the phrase All Lives Matter is an empty slogan, void of empathy. Asking to matter - seems like such a basic request. Why are some people so afraid of this request?

ElevatedOne

Good job Grizzly. Navigating this is a bit difficult and you are doing the right thing. As for the people condemning your decision, There is an important point to make. Right now there are literally millions protesting, every single state has/has had protests, many nations across the globe are showing support for the movement. What that shows is that the "All lives matter" crowd, conspiracy folks, and MAGAs are in the minority, like really, really far in the minority and I think the world can rejoice together in that, we may see this world become a better place after all!!! This is really revealing what their movement is all about and they are only hurting themselves. I am grateful most of Big Bear and the Grizzly are showing their support with open minds and open hearts and I'm even more grateful to see the conspiracy crowd being such a minority in the discussion they are not even having the slightest impact as we see reform, defunding etc. taking place federally, state by state, county by county. They may talk the loudest but it's clear the empty barrel makes the most sound. Thank you Grizzly and thank you Big Bear for standing up and saying no more.

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