Dear followers, two statements were made on Periscope on Monday that I’d like to address :
Huey stated that he went to Charlottesville to protest with a white Jewish guy and an “off the rack white guy”, your average guy, well meaning, who likes and respects people. That’s as it should. be. There is no ” the other”, we are all ” the other”! Except for the Native Americans, there are no indigenous Americans. We are all foreigners in our Land.
We’ve survived for 200 yrs as a Democracy. We have fought for our civil liberties , though the pace of change has clearly not been fast enough for many and too fast for a few. As a Democracy, we live by the Rule of Law and respect the progress we’ve made in civil rights , marriage equality for the LGBTQ community, and accessibility for people with disabilities. We’ve come a long way and have more to do! We have been guaranteed our right to protest, to peacefully assemble and to respect each other’s rights to free speech. But we must not take our inalienable rights for granted. Nor can we stand idly by as one group or another is oppressed.
I’ve spent several hours reading about racism in America today and watching the Vice Review of the tragic events in Charlottesville. Besides the alt right protestors, I watched in amazement as the Charlottesville Police stood back from the crowd. Like the rest of us, they watched the violence unfold. More than that, I question why large public gatherings are not free from traffic? And why were protestors allowed to carry and/or conceal weapons in the Public Square? It appears that home grown terrorists are adopting “ISIS-like” tactics and using cars or trucks as weapons of destruction.
Unfortunately for America, when white supremacists congregate in a Public Square, there is a potential, in fact a desire, for violence. All access to “peaceful” assembly should be blocked to vehicles. This should now be SOP (standard operating procedure).
Second, I think we as a nation must re-examine our First Amendment rights. Some of the neo-nazis present came from as far away as Canada to march with the white supremacists and vent their hatred of Jews, African Americans, and other minorities. I think it is time to legislate against violent hate speech in this country and outlaw hate speech and death threats, like they’ve done in Canada and Germany and other countries who have experienced the violent aftermath of these marches and worse.
For many “loners, ” White supremacist Marches makes them feel more powerful when they join these groups or act out in their name. I think Charlottesville has shown us that David Duke and his followers came looking for violence and promised the Vice reporter that more blood would be shed as they planned other marches. We have been forewarned, these groups intend to wait and then step up the violence they intend to perpetrate. Stop David Duke and those like him from plotting larger more potentially violent events. They don’t see the dead and injured as people. They think of them as subhuman vermin. Their behavior and their threat of more violence makes them undesirable in our Public Square. Ultimately, I do believe if you want change in this country, you remove what is unacceptable through Legislation.
Lincoln delayed the ending of the Civil War, in order to codify the Emancipation Proclamation. Our Civil Rights Laws were changed only after years of African American protests. However, the March on Washington led by Dr. Martin Luther King was different. It was a meticulously planned event, taking months to plan. It was coordinated through major Legislators and in one technical emergency, Bobby Kennedy intervened. The event culminated with Dr Martin Luther King’s , ” I have a dream speech” ! Strategic, meticulous planning made the difference. First there were the protests and then the demands for equal rights, codified into Law. It takes many voices to go from protest to culture change to LAW. This should be our model for change!
Now is the time to stop these hate groups before they grow strategically and more people are intentionally maimed or injured. I say take action now to change the culture of these United States. Racism and bigotry may not totally disappear, but it can become punishable under the Law. What do you think, dear reader?
- Do you want the right to assemble peaceably without fear for your lives? Do you think that any group that violates your basic freedoms , should be legally barred from assembling and carrying weapons of destruction that they hope to use?
In answer to Huey’s 2nd question, “Do you think Donald Trump will unite America”? I do! I believe Trump’s Presidency forces ” We the People” to unite across our Country. Our success will be measured when we make it a crime for any group to speak hatefully or act as violently as the White supremacists. Their proactive violent behavior must be stopped. Nothing less than Legislation is acceptable.
Trump is a symptom of our division not the cause of it. With social media and more investigative reporting , we can see ourselves and reflect upon what “We the People” need to become fair and just Americans?
When our right to that fair and just way of life is threatened, there is only one response. Craft the legislation that will allow all Americans to be safe in the Public Square! We can’t afford to counter violence with just words. Anti-social actions must be stopped by the Rule of Law!
See you Wednesday and let’s chat!
“the heart and pulse of the Middle Class”