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Getting rid of complacency

Why are the residents of our community complacent?

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

This is a question I had not ever asked myself until recently. The last two years of my life I lived in Greenville. Unlike Orangeburg, Greenville has been constantly hailed as one of the best places to live in America, one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, and, for many South Carolinians, the model for how a city should look and operate in our state.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

I was born and raised in Orangeburg. My parents were both born and raised in Orangeburg. My maternal grandfather's family has made Orangeburg their home for the better part of two centuries. I have a deep connection to this place, and it will forever be my home.

Although this is a close-knit community that is rich in diversity, history and culture, we have failed to make the best parts of our community its centerpiece.

This was something I had always acknowledged, though it was not until I moved back here that I began to comprehend how deep-rooted it is.

It seems like every day when I read the paper or watch the news, the main things I hear coming from Orangeburg are crime, poverty, generational wealth disproportionalities and a racial divide that has tarnished this community since its founding. Many citizens simply take these issues with a grain of salt by saying things like “only in Orangeburg.”

Instead of simply accepting the way things are, we should want to change them. The citizens of this community must band together to create change rather than basking in our own complacency.

We must develop this community that has so much potential and that we hold so close to our hearts into the place that we know it can be, but we must strive to work together and make our voices be heard.

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And by digging our community out of its complacency, it is my hope that one day every Orangeburger can be proud of the place that they live.

Turner Jones, Orangeburg

Adults should set example

Many have heard of the regretful video that has made its rounds on social media of students at a local high school inappropriately acting out after exams were finished. I appreciate the swift action the principal and district put in motion to address the problem and the attention paid at the last school board meeting to begin addressing issues the video raised, particularly around the cell phone policy in the school district.

But I want to write here about another issue this has raised. How will the students in our community learn responsible, respectful social media standards if adults in our community do not set the example?

This video was, of course, shared among students. But instead of adults in the community putting a stop to the dissemination of the video, several promoted its sharing on their own social media sites without permission of the parents or the minors in it. This was even more harmful to the students and families involved than the original video, shared by adults who should have known better. This should not be so!

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I've appreciated the attitude of Christian community that exists throughout our area. Though all religions are welcome and respected, I note that we are a predominantly Christian community. As a Christian, I know that the Bible teaches that love, the Greatest Commandment, "covers a multitude of sins." It isn't that we love our students better by sweeping their wrongs under the carpet. But we love them well when we deal with them appropriately without drawing undo attention to them by folks who do not have a place in the process of discipline.

Adults in our community, let's lead positively this way and raise the next generation to do so as well. Our students will never do better if we don't show we love them enough to forego the salacious outrage such a video incites.

Wendy Horger Alsup, St. Matthews

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