Recent events being what they are, I ask your permission to do something a little different.

In troubled times, in times of crisis and despair, we can never go wrong if we seek commonality.

All too often these days, when something big happens, (and trust me, what’s going on right now is BIG,) our tendency is to fall into our usual political tribes and commence with the name-calling, finger pointing and other pointless activities.

Something big is happening around us. I cannot define it. I just know it’s big.

All I know for certain is if justice doesn’t exist for all of us, it doesn’t exist for any of us. When justice is denied to one of us, it’s denied to all of us.

Our commonality is our pursuit of justice. Our commonality is our universal desire and undeniable need for freedom. Justice and freedom are words that are bandied about a lot, but now is the time time for us to put our patriotic talk to action.

If we are to be a nation of justice, freedom and equal justice under the law, justice, freedom and equal justice has to be afforded to all. Not just to those who can purchase it. Not to one race or another, not to one social strata or another. All of us, or none of us.

Justice, freedom and equality don’t know skin color, financial circumstance or social standing. It has to exist for all of us, or it doesn’t exist at all.

I sincerely believe our perfect storm of current crisis is our test, not our curse. Previous generations of Americans have been similarly tested with wars, racial strife and yes, even viral outbreaks. Our commonality carried us through then, and I hope with all my heart it will now.

I still trust in the goodness of America and Americans. We can do this.

All of us.

Craig Carter is an Ontario resident and can be reached in care of The Argus Observer, 1160 S.W. Fourth St., Ontario, OR 97914. The views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily represent those of the Argus Observer.

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