Barbara Parsons Local columnist

Barbara Parsons

Local columnist

One of the foundations of our country is free speech. So, even though we cringe when we hear discordant messages, we know folks have a right to their opinion. Nonetheless, when that free speech is divisive, it contributes to the gridlock now present. It seems civility is almost unknown between opposing political factions throughout the country. We seem to have lost the ability to solve problems by sitting together at the table. Hatred and intolerance enflamed by zealots doesn’t help.

Mr. Rogers, it is not my intent to beat up on you, but you, sir, are divisive. Column after column you demonize over half of the citizens of this country for their beliefs. You have clearly forgotten your manners; in fact, you said you were sick and tired of PC, political correctness. Though PC sometimes goes to extremes, it does provide some guidelines of ways to be courteous to those different than we are. Courtesy and respect always oils the wheels of successful communication.

According to you, Democrats are in league with the devil himself. You have called Democrats mean, crazy, violent and full of hate. You accuse the “left” of maintaining racial animosity for their self interests. You call socialists immoral and blights of society.

I would suggest you do a little self-examination. For, your advocacy for gun ownership is based on the need to combat an out of control government. Using your criteria, that alarms me. Are you aiming to shoot every “socialist” in sight if said folks get in power?

I’m a gun owner, hunter and recreational shooter. And, there are times when I “carry” to protect myself. But even with this thoroughly repugnant, bigoted president, I have not advocated bearing arms against him. I believe in a civilized, democratic process and intend to do my best to send him on his way soon via the ballot box. That is how our democratic process should work.

Demonizing those of different beliefs and promoting a government of white supremacy as many do, is truly evil.That our President supports and encourages this mentality is alarming. I do not understand how you can support him. But, I do not think you are the devil incarnate because you do.

White supremacy, as it seems our President advocates, is counter to the principles that are the foundations of our constitution. When I hear the mantra “Make American Great Again”, I hear the drum beat of the KKK and the heavy boot of exploitive capitalism of the laboring people, or I hear the snap of the whip wielded by slave drivers on the backs of their human victims.

For, from our inception, as a country, we have exploited others. Immigrants were indentured and poor people, including children, were abused by greedy employers.

And while brown people were in the country long before white Europeans were, white opportunists conquered and suppressed the native population and labeled them less than.They continue to do so to this day. Adding insult to injury to people of color,our greedy ancestors traded for human black slaves to enrich their enterprises.

Our founding principles are noble, not so much many of our ancestors. We would truly be admirable if we adhered to those principles, but equality and justice for all remains elusive.

Various proposals have been advocated by those still infuriated by past injustices to restore some sense of justice. But, realistically, the best we can hope happens, is that we quit hating and judging others whose skin or beliefs are different than ours.

And, while I certainly don’t advocate killing policeman, as Mr. Rogers accuses those of my belief, I believe we can do a much better job screening out those individuals not suited for law enforcement. Most law enforcement I know do an excellent job, but power hungry folks have always been attracted to those positions. If they harbor intolerance and are bullies, it will surface when they do their job. We have all seen examples of that happening.

Law enforcement is the face of our society; it is very important that those in various positions throughout our society, enforce justice based on the highest ideals in our society.

Likewise, the parameters of public discourse, how we talk to each other, makes a difference. Discuss issues rather than attack and demonize those who disagree. We can respect that all of us, men, women, people of color and people who think differently than we do are treated equally by society and the laws of our country. That Mr. Rogers is why your words make, or conversely can make, a difference, depending on how you use them.

(1) comment

dthrogmorton

Well said, Barbara. Thank you.


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