St. Cloud tries to resist the urge to divide

In its editorial, the St. Cloud Times is stating what shouldn’t have to be stated: the obvious. It’s not a time to turn on each other in the wake of the weekend stabbing attack at a mall in St. Cloud.

But from schoolchildren to retirees, from factory workers to faith leaders, Central Minnesotans must not rush to the patently unfair judgment that their neighbors and fellow residents who have the same roots, who look like him and who worship like, him also will act like him.

After all, did those thoughts initially cross our minds when another young resident opened fire on fellow classmates at Rocori High School in 2003? Or how about just last month when a local man set books ablaze in our local library?

That’s not to downplay the role religion might have played in his motives. Rather, we simply must wait for investigators to piece together why he did what he did.

In the meantime, cool heads and thoughtful responses will help the most. Let’s remain curious and courageous. Let’s come together to show hope can overcome fear, and that unity is a better choice than division. It might not be easy, and it certainly will push people out of their comfort zones. But as a community, that is the choice we need to make.

How is this done? The city’s police chief, William Blair Anderson, showed how yesterday when Fox & Friends tried to bait him into dividing his city.

“I can tell you that the vast majority of all of our citizens, no matter their ethnicity, are fine, hard-working people, and now is not the time for us to be divisive. We already have a very cohesive community, and I expect that this will draw us even closer together. But at the end of the day, our job is public safety, period,” he said.