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Historical Moment In America With Peaceful Protests, Republicans Need To Heed Call For Justice

June 4, 2020

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There is no way not to be moved emotionally, filled with pride, or awed by the historical moment that has filled our streets with peaceful protesters.  The vast majority of the protesters are peaceful but justifiably angry over the number of black men who have died at the hands of police.  There is no way to witness the death of George Floyd and not be resolved to make a change in the nation.  We all need to be determined at working to end the behavior we witnessed by the police officers in the video of Floyd’s death.  That type of officer shames all the men and women who wear blue uniforms around our nation.  AND IT HAS TO STOP. 

Over the long arc of our history protest movements have had measurable effects on the citizenry and have swayed elections.  President Lyndon Johnson is proof of that fact. History also shows that riots can play to a political use that allows for some candidates to use the fear card.  President Richard Nixon is proof of that fact.

Both of those men can claim the same year, and events, as proving those points.

A peaceful protest is a right, even when a president wants to make them disappear for a photo op. What Trump authorized this week against protesters outside the White House was disgusting and deplorable.

But a riot and the destruction which follows is not a right.  The riot places a huge ugly blemish over the work the peaceful protesters are doing.

Marching and shouting are basic constitutional rights.  Looting a merchant’s store is a crime.  That’s not just the law, it’s how most people, and most voters of all races, understand our nation to operate.

Our nation must address in a meaningful way the deaths of so many black men at the hand of officers who are clearly racist and in dire need of anger management classes. Our nation also needs to address the racist words, either out loud or through ‘dog-whistles’ which comes from Donald Trump and so many of his conservative brethren.  If they do not denounce his words they are as culpable as if they said them.  For too long the Republican Party has sided with the most despicable elements in order to secure balloting success.

It was not so long ago we saw a prime example of how Americans should behave when presented with vile racism. Senator John McCain was running for president on the Republican ticket. 

A woman at a McCain rally said, “I can’t trust Obama. I have read about him, and he’s not, he’s not — he’s an Arab.”

Her comment prompted McCain to immediately shake his head and take the microphone from her.

And with that action, and the following words, he made a point about what makes this nation solid, and how to move forward as a people.

“No ma’am,” McCain said. “He’s a decent family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about.”

Republicans need to shed their racist words and deeds and strive for higher ground.  Our national story gives them the light to see that path…all they need to do is find their inner compass to again be the Party of Lincoln.

And so it goes.

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