Urging for unity: Panel takes on topics during inaugural event

Taking on polarizing topics such as racial tension and police brutality isn’t something Kyle resident Dave Adams bristles at.

In fact, Adams, spurred by what’s currently happening in America today, sought to bring his local community together to talk about it.

That hope came true Oct. 30 when roughly 30 people attended the inaugural “Unity in our Community” panel held at the Hays CISD Performing Arts Center.

The panel was composed of local leaders in the area including District 6 council member Daphne Tenorio, Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett and mayoral candidate Bill Sinor.

“We knew we wanted it to happen really fast,” said Adams. “We just saw a lot of issues.”

Adams said he and Sinor had a number of discussions regarding the NFL protests and wished to open up a dialogue among residents in order to find understanding.

“It was a much needed conversation that needs to continue,” Sinor said. “We need to stop looking at the tint of people’s skin; underneath we’re all flesh and blood.”

The panel began its discussion on the NFL protests with members and attendees weighing in on how they felt about what the players were protesting and the protests in general.

“I fought for you guys, not the flag or the anthem; I’m always going to stand myself, but I support the decision of those who don’t,” Adams said.

Walter Hanley, also a veteran and member on the panel, shared this sentiment but disagreed with the location of the protests.

“Dave is right that a man can protest and I wouldn’t discourage that, I just think the venue is wrong,” Hanley said. “I would like to watch football, not politics.”

The discussion moved to what spurred the rise in protests, which centered on the rise of shootings of unarmed black men by police.

“I firmly believe that good cops root out bad cops all the time,” Barnett said.

Barnett also provided insight to the dangers that police face daily and how residents who are pulled over for traffic stop should conduct themselves.

Though several may have disagreed on the topics discussed during the panel, most agreed that the continuation of such panels and public discussion was a step in the right direction.

According to Sinor and Adams, the next “Unity in Our Community” panel would be held in early 2018.

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