I will try to keep this brief and to the point. All of you, especially Chief Frazzano, know the recent events that have taken place in our community which have been presented as an extension of the larger “demonstrations” taking place across the country.
As a resident of Marco, who did witness the recent “demonstration” in person, I grow very concerned when I see young people steered to hate and degrade our local law enforcement and to see themselves as victims within their own community. Personally, I understand the right to public demonstration, but what I experienced the other day was not what I would consider a constructive event. It was a venue that provided a platform for “venting” and a release of emotions, but I did not see any positive nor constructive outcome come from it. When I asked one of the apparent “handlers/organizers” what their objective was, I was met with confusion and rage.
I would like to urge our local government to seize this opportunity to lead and to perhaps consider providing a series of round table discussions for “adults” and perhaps for “young adults” as well. I know that my daughter is one of the very few young adults that serves on the “Marco Island Youth Council.” In fact, both of my young adults had applied and were accepted to the original Youth Council that was eventually dismantled due to lack of participants. I urged some of the young adults in attendance the other night to get involved in their community using available constructive means to enact the change they wish to see. I am not sure if it fell on deaf ears, I suppose time will tell.
Regardless, I felt compelled to share my sentiments and my ideas with you all in the hopes that some good can come from this and that we can show that positive outcomes and results come from constructive work in a community vs anger, rage and insults.
In closing, I want to give a very special thanks to Chief Frazzano. It was a bold decision to “validate” the event by speaking to the demonstrators. I was skeptical and even though an unfortunate situation developed, I do believe it was the best course of action. What I kept hearing from the young people, especially those of color was, “We just want to be heard. We want to be taken seriously…” Not an unfamiliar sentiment shared by youth of all shades and color. A desire to be noticed, to be heard and to make a mark upon the world is a common drive within all young people. I say we continue listening and provide the vehicle by which they can see that their community is NOT the enemy. Show them that we are in fact the family that nurtures them. Show them that our Community has the framework already in place by which positive change, that is representative of the will of the people, can be achieved. Thank you again, Chief, your example will light the way to a brighter future. I urge our leadership to not miss this amazing opportunity to teach, share and grow.
Please let me know if there is any way that I can assist in this matter.
So much for brief…
Hector C. Fernandez