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Community, Whether Committed to it or Not

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Being silent or complacent doesn’t remove you from the equation. The question is, what type of community do you want to be? 

Community is sacred. 

But what does it mean exactly, to Redlands residents? We once came together in solidarity, to show support and uphold shared virtues. We have witnessed how that has changed over the years, and how relentless the division has become.  

Community is dynamic.

It shifts and yields. It shrinks and expands. It restricts and it makes way. When it believes strongly, it supports and shows up. Nothing motivates it more than a cause.  Nothing kills it more than distrust. And yet we remain a community whether we are committed to it, or not.  

Community coming together for George Floyd

We must be careful what we allow to seep into the confines of our community. Who we consider experts, has an impact on our version of the truth. There are professional contortionists within our community who aim to divide at all costs. We give them our time and energy when we acknowledge their disbeliefs and distrust. They have faces and names, but most of the time they hide behind icons and aliases to protect their cause. When they do present themselves, they are merely a shadow of the version they portray.  

  • How do they serve our communities, outside of taking the truth and distorting it to engage their followers at toxic levels?
  • Are they serving their community in a prolific or impactful way?
  • Do they volunteer their days to a cause that actually makes a difference?
  • Or do they use their platform to distract us from our true purpose?  

Last month a list of businesses in the downtown area was shared publicly. This list depicted businesses that upheld racist and homophobic beliefs. Many viewed this list as truth and they sought to boycott business at any place listed. Powerful. The person who published the list has the power of influence and our community upheld it. However, not everyone agrees with her list and how she came to such conclusions.

The impact on those businesses could also be labeled as libel, which has its own legal implications that many are pursuing. 

But what about the moral implications? 

There was a time where detractors of this nature would be called out for their actions. Had an unverified list like this have been provided in a city like Rialto or San Bernardino, it would’ve been shut down. Why? Because their community wouldn’t tolerate the targeting of individual businesses in this way. Yet, our community does, all the time.  

Being silent or complacent doesn’t remove yourself from the equation, either. As stated in the beginning, we are a community whether we are committed to it or not. The question is, what type of community do you want to be? 

Being silent or complacent doesn’t remove yourself from the equation, either. As stated in the beginning, we are a community whether we are committed to it or not. The question is, what type of community do you want to be? 

Janelle Guerrero, StrongerTogetherNow

Do you consider how Redlands is perceived outside of its city borders?  In business, we learn perception is key. It matters little what you do or say when perception is embraced. All the more reason to protect and serve Redlands in an authentic and integral way. One that allows us to grow, function and prosper, not one that is destructive and self-serving. We are smart enough to know better, yet we buy into this notion all the time and we support those who seek to destroy and harm our beautiful community.  

Community is the thread between individuals that makes us one. We each have power in how it is formed. Stop giving your power away to people who want to hold all the strings and push their own agendas. Wake up. Volunteer. Get involved. Meet people face to face. Have conversations, get to know your neighbors. Support local businesses. Show up to city council and school district meetings. Engage in a way that makes you proud, that makes us proud.  


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