Dear editor,

Recent letters to the editor “Protest was a slap in the face” (May 12) by Donna Hecker and “Do something about racism” (May 15) by Scott Rollins both objected to those protesting on May 2 at the Capitol. 

For the record, when Donna ran for mayor, my vote was cast for her, and Scott is passionate about his involvement with Frankfort’s Focus On Race Relations, which I too support wholeheartedly. There is a lot to respect and admire about both, yet as one who also lives in the shadow of the Capitol dome, my take on the protesters is different. 

Kentuckians heeded Gov. Andy Beshear’s plan to “flatten the curve,” so our hospitals would not be overwhelmed. This goal was met, yet many businesses, mainly small, were required to remain closed. The protesters were petitioning their government to allow them to safely/responsibly open their establishments, enjoy the parks, worship, etc.

People are understandably passionate about preserving their livelihoods, collecting a paycheck, providing for their family. While some have described "healthy at home" as an “inconvenience,” to others it is their life’s work going down the drain, the welfare of their family at stake. An increase in spouse abuse, child abuse, addiction issues are all part of the equation. Can we try to walk in each other’s shoes? 

I do not know the minds and hearts of each protester, but the way they were portrayed and even declared unwelcome at one point came across as unfair to this resident of South Frankfort. It is for this reason that I want all peaceful protesters (regardless of their cause) to know that some residents living near the Capitol welcome them.  

Gene Coverston

Frankfort

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