The Danger of Charlottesville
I don’t agree with the White Supremacists protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue; however I also disagree with denying them their first amendment rights. This opinion may be controversial, but please hear me out. As a patriotic American, I would have supported the cause of the U.S. Government against the rebel Confederate states that fought to tear our country apart. As a student of history I can understand the pride of Southern people who repeatedly defeated superior Federal forces during the Civil War, the outstanding generals and the grit and determination to win. I can also understand that most poor white southerners fought to protect their friends and neighbors. I imagine it would be hard to fight against the people you live with. However, the war was a long time ago, and the flag and symbols have come to not only represent rebellion but also an ideology at odds with our current laws and culture. If a local or state government duly elected by the people decides to take down a statue- that is their right. It is also the right of people who disagree with that decision to voice their opinion in a peaceful way. I am uncomfortable with people who turn to violence to prevent them from their protest. The Antifa and other violent protestors are not the friends of America any more than white supremacists. If we stop one group from their right of free speech, then who is next? If one group can be declared as not deserving of first amendment rights, then who will be next? Will the people who are denied their first amendment rights change with each administration, or with the winds of popular culture? That is the path to the loss of first amendment The violence that erupted against the protestors played directly into their hands and cause. They will use those videos to recruit more people, to inflame their base, and to stoke the flames of conflict. The Antifa plays directly into their hands, and are a Godsend to those groups. A better strategy would have been to ignore them, giving them no media attention, or if people had to show up- then to silently turn their backs to them as a sign of contempt. The media is no friend of the American people either. Whether right or left, they stoke the races against each other, people of both parties against each other; they demonize and hype and hate …all for ratings. It’s easy to be on team red or team blue; it gives you an easy identity. It’s easy to fall into tribalism, us against them, good versus evil. But we must always remember the fragility of our democracy and our rights. Rome fell because it rotted from within, and the United States will fall the same way. Our greatest and most dangerous enemy is ourselves, not the Russians, not the North Koreans, not ISIS. Yes, they can kill Americans… but they can’t kill America. Only we can do that. Only we can save ourselves. It is time for us to step back from the brink and think about our children, and grandchildren and great grandchildren and about this wonderful experiment called American democracy and American ideals. E Pluribus Unum. It was true in 1776. It is true today. A house divided against itself cannot stand. It was true in 1864. It is true today. It is time to think with your heads America, not your emotions. It is time for reason and true patriotism and doing what is right and the hard things that must be done. It is time. It is time.