This is about leadership vs. waiting until it is safe. There are innumerable examples of the latter and we should not be applauding “leaders” that take action only when there is little risk to them in their position or in general. Here are a few.

It is not leadership when Nikki Haley has the Confederate flag removed only after a horrendous event and extreme political pressure is evident. You get credit only if you do the right thing because you know it is right, regardless of the political winds. This should have been done years before.

It is not leadership when Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal vetoes the religious liberty legislation only after business leaders publicly pressured him because it would impact business in the state. He should have vetoed it based on its discrimination against LBGTQ citizens, regardless of his party’s bias.

It is not leadership when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell now says he was wrong to criticize Colin Kaepernick in 2016 and beyond because of the current pressure on him. He should have stated this in 2016 when it was the right thing to do.

And now, it is not leadership to say we will conduct a survey of residents to see if they agree with changing the name of Hilton Head Plantation (or other plantations) rather than leading the discussion in full support for changing it. Leadership is taking action if you can or speaking up (using the influence of job title) to promote doing the right thing, whether it is popular or not.

Richard Hammes

Hilton Head Island