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What matters?
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With shootings of police officers and shootings of black men sharing the spotlight of media attention in this country, there is one angle to the debate that hasn’t received any attention. There is a perception divide between urban and rural reflected in the argument over which lives matter.
Thanks to researchers at the Pew Research Center, some light has been shed and the surveys show that few rural respondents from black and white community members feel there is a fairness gap in the way black people are treated by the community, including treatment by law enforcement. ( “There (are) wide variations in perceptions based on whether one lives in a city, the suburbs or a rural area.
As we look at the national debate over which lives matter, we think of those close to us. Here at home, it’s our neighbor or our friend who puts on the badge, and on the weekends we see at church. Here at home, it’s the kid down the street we cheer for on the local high school team, our coworkers or our children’s friends. They are not the nameless ‘cops’ or ‘blacks.’
Here, we are all accountable to one another on a different level than our urban counterparts.
To keep our heads above the fray, it’s important for all of us to recognize this difference in perception.
We should be able to talk about this topic to one another without allowing the extreme emotions reflected on the television or computer screen from urban cities to color our true beliefs based on our first hand experiences.
Here, we don’t need to assign a color to the lives that matter, because here, we know “our lives matter, yours and mine.”

--Veronica Coons