Ethan Wolfe gives his reactions to tourism diversity talk

Published 10:36 am Friday, July 5, 2024

James Wolfe, a candidate for commissioner in district 3, attended a diversity talk hosted by the tourism board. Wolfe gave his reactions to the event and shared how he thought Sumter County did when it came to diversity. “I believe there is some resistance to “Diversity” due to how political the word has become. Sumter County is a diverse county; but, there are many divisions in the county – some based upon race, some based upon political party, some based upon a person’s sexual orientation. Change is hard when there are so many that see diversity as a bad thing. I strive to be an example on how to treat and respect others.”

Wolfe gave his opinion of how the talk went: “The talk is a good start to a conversation on how we become accepting of ALL people. I was surprised by the turnout at the coffee talk, especially for a county that has a divisive history.”

When asked if he felt there should be further diversity talks and what format they should be in, he replied: “The conversation must continue and should also include those who have an opposing view of diversity in order to understand our differences on the subject.”

When asked if he would like to see similar talks hosted by the County, Wolfe replied: “I’d like to see these talks continue and grow without being influenced by who or where it is held. I feel that our public officials should be included in the conversation but should not direct the conversation. The citizens should not be hindered by any political agenda or stance. It would be nice to see more of our public officials ATTEND these talks. They are important and help educate.”

During the diversity talk, one question dealt with how to respond to those who opposed LGBTQ acceptance based on religious grounds. When asked if he felt it was important to have a response to those objecting on those grounds, and what his might be, Wolfe replied: “Diversity is broader than how it is viewed by any one religion. Some people are set in their ways and will never approve of LGBTQ+. It is important to know why they feel the way they do – to hear both sides, if for nothing else but to understand. We should ALL strive for justice and peace for all people and respect the dignity of every human being. I’m a Christian and believe we are ALL GOD’S children.”

Wolfe also quoted Mathew 22:36-40 which deals with loving your neighbor as yourself, and the story of the good Samaritan found in Luke 10:26-37, which deals with sacrificial love shown by a Samaritan to a Jew.