Our View of the Times – August 23

On August 23, 2017, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

The people of Somerville gathered in Davis Square last week to show their support for the victims of violence in Charlottesville, and to disavow the hatred and intolerance that drove the situation to its tragic outcome.

Our civic leaders, both local and state level, spoke of the challenges and responsibilities that everyone shares in holding together a civilized society, free from fear of violence and oppression.

Everyday citizens voiced their concerns and shared their commitment to maintaining order and promoting tolerance and understanding.

It is comforting to know that we live in the type of community where the few haters that do exist among us keep to the shadows, fully aware that their drumbeats of bigotry will immediately be drowned out by the unified chorus of admonishment and scorn.

And it’s not just Somerville. Look at what happened in Boston on Saturday. The so-called “free speech” advocates were similarly subdued and silenced, by something on the order of – literally – a thousand to one.

You can be sure that Somerville was also well represented in that crowd.

The neo-Nazis, white supremacists, weekend warriors and their ilk ought to know better. This is New England, not the deep south. Freedom was fought for and won on this soil. This is the very birthplace of American democracy. Anyone barging in to tell us that we are not good enough Americans are just ridiculous and worthy of ridicule.

We should be proud of our solidarity and our commitment to justice, the rule of law, and common decency between all peoples. This is who we are. And the few aberrant exceptions will not change us.

 

6 Responses to “Our View of the Times – August 23”

  1. LindaS says:

    I can’t say for certain, but it seems to me that we have had more incidents of this kind since our current President took office. I don’t remember seeing this much of it previously.

    With all the biased rhetoric Trump has spewed during his campaign, it seems that all the bigots feel they have a free pass to speak out now that he’s in office. His comments on Twitter and tv haven’t helped any.

    It’s nice to see, though, that the racists are in the minority at these events, and that most people are decent and kind and understand that everyone is equal in this country or anywhere else. I feel for those who have had to live their lives being made to feel they are secondary or even worthless just for being who they are. Nobody deserves to be treated that way.

    I know that everyone has a right to free speech under the First Amendment, but I wonder if there should be a change made that says that any speech that promotes hatred and violence should be considered the same as acting out violence and should not be protected free speech. Look at what happens during these rallies and tell me that this isn’t provoking violence.

    Also, as much as I admire those who stand up and protest against these rallies, I feel that perhaps the best thing would be not to show up at all. I would not give any validity or worth to these racists by listening to what they have to say. In my opinion, listening to them even to protest them gives what they say some kind of value, and there is no value in words of hate.

    Let them gather, let them say what they want to say to themselves. We don’t have to listen to them, or even dignify them by showing up to protest them. They already know people don’t like what they have to say, so why give them a platform where they can provoke anger and then say afterwards that they were not treated fairly? That’s just what they want.

    I know that others may have different opinions about this, but I just think that acknowledging these hate groups by showing up to protest them makes them feel they actually have something of value to say, and they don’t.

    Imagine them having a rally and nobody shows up but them. I think that would be more satisfying.

  2. ritepride says:

    “Boston Strong” showed that the bigots can have their right to free speech but if some show hatred and want to create problems we will not allow them to create havoc and injury to the people of our Commonwealth.

    I laughed when some of the agitators went around to the rear of the State House and were surprised to find a wall of State Police officers and specialized vehicles there to greet the problem protestors.

    We are lucky to have a great group of Police Officers, Fire Fighters, EMS, and National Guard men and women who have many drills to be
    trained to quell the trouble makers and keep the citizens safe.

  3. Believer in the Constitution says:

    Dear RitePride:

    The people who gathered in defense of Free Speech were falsely connected to the racist thugs and Nazis in Charlottesville. This was done by the media, Boston Mayor Matrty Walsh, and other people. The group advocating In defense of Free Speech were members of the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, Bernie Sanders supporters, and others. They were intimidated by a very hostile and angry crowd.

    Free speech is being eroded by radical groups in this country. The Supreme Court has ruled that even hate Speech and bigoted Speech is protected by the First Amendment.

    How important is the First amendment? Burton Joseph knew how important it is. Burt was a liberal Jewish attorney in Chicago who defended rights of Nazis to march and assemble in Skokie, illinois, a very Jewish community with many Holocaust survivors. Burt lost some friends over his stance on this, but he was right when he explained that if one group’s right to Free Speech is curtailed, where does it end? Burt was a brave and great man who is no longer with us.

    Nazis, Klansmen, and other racists and bigots are bottom feeders and low life’s. Let’s be clear on that. But Free Speech applies to all of us.

    The way to oppose these awful people is not through violence throwing objects such as bottles of urine and the like. WE can bring them down with logic, facts, common sense, rational thinking, and Free Speech.

  4. Wayan Effington says:

    Dear Selective Believer in the Constitution:

    Your sneaky sidling up along the right side of this almost passes the smell test, but not quite.

    First of all, even though the the actual participants of this rally were not affiliated with any hate groups, such haters were definitely present in the crowd and caused plenty of trouble. One got popped for packing a pistol. Others for violent acts committed against the protestors. These were no angels, and they were definitely there, in force and loaded for bear. They were simply outnumbered. Vastly so, and therefore rendered relatively harmless.

    Next, out of the 40,000 or so protesters, very few were throwing objects. An almost completely insignificant percentage to even be a part of this discussion. Not everyone on that side were angels either, but they were very few.

    So the fundamental dishonesty – the hallmark of all you good, right-leaning selective “believers” – is clear. In a way, freedom of speech was well served that day. The rally organizers held their rally, anti-rally protesters were allowed to be present and express themselves. So what’s the problem?

    This is where we can find common ground. The public was misled into believing that this rally was being held by white supremacists, Nazis, etc., and it was not. I have no idea what got into Walsh and his advisors’ heads to say it was. It was as if they either didn’t actually know they weren’t going to be represented – not a very forgivable offense – or they did know and then willfully mislead the public for some reason – an even more egregious offense. This issue should be fully investigated and dealt with. And in the future events such as these need to be fully vetted and presented honestly to the public without hyperbole and misrepresentation.

    Still, the protesters did believe they they were demonstrating against the real bad guys, and I’m proud of them. Little harm was done, other than the veritable fortune that must have been spent on police presence and cleaning up the mess afterwards. I suggest we send the bill to Walsh personally. Maybe things will be done differently next time.

  5. Stephan says:

    I too believe in the Constitution because it is a scared document that provides many protections for all of us such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and freedom from self-incrimination.

    For example, Freedom of Speech in the First Amendment protects those horrible protestors chanting about wanting dead cops and wanting them now and calling for the police to be fried like bacon.

    You wouldn’t have this in countries like North Korea or Iran. Those protestors would have been executed.

    And the First Amendment protects racist bigots such as Louis Farrakhan who is the Minister of the Nation of Islam. He called Judaism a “gutter religion” and praised Adolph Hitler as “A great man, a wickedly great man.” they and their hate speech are repulsive, but I agree that their speech is protected by the Constitution.

    And Wayan is incorrect in his comments about the Boston rally. The only people arrested were all counter-protestors including the one with the gun which was found in his body armor. Wayan neglects to mention the 65 year old woman holding the American flag who was beaten to the ground by the very protestors that Wayan is proud of. All she did was hold her country’s flag.

    And the rally holders were intimidated and whisked away out of fear for their safety. Wayan is inincorrect in his comments. The only dishonesty I read is on the part of Wayan. Wayan, like that awful man George Zimmerman who killed Trayvon Martin, is a stereotype.

    Zimmerman saw a young black boy wearing a hoodie and immediately saw bad or evil or no good. I hope Zimmerman gets his due from God when he faces him. Is it ok for me to believe in God, Wayan, or you going to also stereotype me for believing in God and the Constitution as “sneaky sliding up blah, blah, blah.”

    You stereotyped the Believer in the Constitution and I am sure you routinely do this all the time.

    And you are “proud of the protestors”, some who beat an elderly lady. What kind of person are you?

    And little harm was done? So you yourself will accept some hate, some uncivil conduct, and little harm? What a sad individual you are. You do not have an open mind; you are nothing more than a somewhat ignorant rigid ideologue. But thank God our Constitution gives you that right!

  6. Wayan Effington says:

    Wow. What a whack job. Kinda scary – in a non-threatening way.

    Folks, “Stephan” here is the same poster that has gone by the handle “Believer in the Constitution” and dozens of others over the years posting comments on this site. Mostly Steve Keenan. His linguistic patterns – not to mention dumbass ideas – are easy to spot. If he is a paid troll his handlers need to learn how inept he is at it. If he is a freelancer, well, that’s even creepier. He’s strangely obsessive. I see substance abuse here. Probably booze.

    So…ahem…Stephan…

    If you’re that bothered by my spanking you publicly, that’s unfortunate. You asked for it. But in this country we all enjoy the right to free speech – remember that scared [sic] document we all hold so dear. By all means, let’s hear more. The George Zimmerman in me yearns for it. LMAO!

    No, really. Nothing more entertaining than watching a mouthy, lying, fake God fearing, closet Nazi go all goo-goo over himself while waving its little…whatever…around.

    Dimwit.

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