To the Editor,
Are you like me, reluctant to voice your opinion because you hear an opposing view that could be the right one? I admit being confused by the recent bombardment of opinions regarding the Charlottesville, VA tragedy and the President's public address to it. Upfront, I will declare I appreciated President Trump's neutral response. Our previous President too often voiced his opinion and took sides before full fact disclosures and any investigation. And now multiple sides are criticizing Trump and claim he was not condemning the white supremacist's groups enough. Going as far to call the White House, the White Supremacists House. Absurd!!! But of course, freedom of speech in action.
So my query is: who can claim freedom of speech and assembly? I stand to be corrected, but this is what I observed:
White supremacists, the KKK, and others led by David Duke came to Charlottesville to assemble and protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue from the University of Virginia campus (founded by President Thomas Jefferson who owned slaves,)and other Confederate statues being removed from public places, to condemn slavery and dishonor the south's military leaders of the Civil War. Oddly, this war between the states was not fought solely because of slavery. This issue should have been settled for both sides before action was ordered to appease just one side, Removing historical figures from public view in no way, can erase our past. And in opposition to these protestors, there also assembled counter-protestors.
Constitutionally, both sides have the right to do so, but added to this amendment is the word "peacefully." We do not know who threw the first punch and doubted we ever will, but both sides turned aggressive. A car used as a lethal weapon, one woman killed, 19 injured, five critical, and 2 law enforcement died in a helicopter crash that was monitoring the melee. Truly a disaster. I don't like hearing shouts of "white people rule." I also don't like the Whitesboro Baptist church degrading military funerals with their grieving families, but at a regulated distance, they have a right to assemble and chant ant-war rhetoric...peacefully. Black lives matter hold their demonstrations and chant: "pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon," and it is repulsive but they have the right to be heard. Rosie O'Donnell, disguised as a cat, went on U-tube to address N. Korea's leader as "sir," to let him know she and we (do NOT include me) do NOT listen to Trump." But, it is a peaceful, stupid blog.
So maybe you can see why I am confused as to WHO can peacefully assemble and protest, only certain groups? Like the volatile rhetoric between N. Korea's leader and the president, the one who gives the first command will cause the other side to fight back and then all have or worse results. Perhaps freedom of peaceful assembly and speech are a bad thing. Living in N. Korea could be easier...just shut-up and follow the leader.
Gloria Harmon, Waxahachie