Let me introduce myself to those readers who may not know me. My name is Ron Smith. I own the Kern Valley Sun along with my wife Marsha who is the publisher. I do not usually write or respond to letters to the Editor or posts on Facebook, I don’t even have a Facebook page and for good reason. I do, however, feel the need to comment on this occasion as I feel a member of my staff and the newspaper itself has come under verbal assault from a few readers who have a different perception of the front-page article in the Kern Valley Sun dated June 10, 2020, Another Pandemic Rocks the World…When will it end? First and foremost let me say no article goes into the paper without it being read by at least two others and sometimes three. It has to be edited for content, spelling, and punctuation. When a reader writes a comment about the editor, in this case, Editor Julie Giyer, they are saying it to the publisher and in this case to me as I read the article before it went to press. I have also reread the article numerous times and for the life of me cannot see what these readers see. The letters are in this week’s paper. Not all Facebook posts can be printed on the opinion page. One Facebook post suggested that J Giyer might be a white supremacist which suggests that I might be a white supremacist along with the publisher. Anyone who knows us would know better.
This article was never meant to be anything but what is written in it, people going crazy and rioting. I realize there is a lot of peaceful protesting going on around the country, but many regular people like you and me, of all races, have been damaged by the rioting in one form or another. If someone can explain to me how breaking windows in stores and looting everything in sight is going to make the race issue better I would like to know. I don’t believe one can change history either by removing statues or flags. These are reminders of how we got here as a country and in many cases where we don’t want to go again as a country.
I believe there does need to be change and that is what peaceful protests and demonstrations can and will accomplish. When I saw the video of the death of Floyd I was appalled. I could not believe that no one, not even a citizen, tried to stop the police officer. However, as horrible as this event is, it does not give people the right to destroy, loot and vandalize public and private property which is what the article was about.
(There is a video on our website and Facebook that everyone should view in its entirety. It is the testimony from Angela Jacobs following the killing of her brother, a peace officer, during a recent riot.)
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction … The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.