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June 7, 2020

Contributing to the Chaos while

Living – Life – Large

Dan Abernathy

June 7, 2020

Because of the mass anarchy and upheaval, I wandered and stumbled in bewilderment, so much in fact that I had to lower my standards and watch the breaking news saturating the media. Protests and demonstrations being the temperament of most cities, dominated the air.

What repulsed me were the riots, which turned into carnage and the loss of more life. What happened to George Floyd was horrendous and the perpetrators should be dealt with quickly, with extreme retribution.

I was also disturbed by what happened to the 75-year-old peaceful protester. He was knocked down by a riot patrol, causing severe injury as his head hit the concrete. Then basically he was walked over by the remaining police force.

Putting things into a confused perspective, the riots that broke out with cops being killed, and business being looted and burnt as the rioters rampage the streets, was nothing more then criminals, unleashing the freedom to be a criminal. There is no cause or protest that is assisted with breaking a window and stealing a big screen television. Looting cannot help any escalating reason where people feel the need to have their voice heard?

Amidst this chaos and disorder, even the words of Martin Luther King Jr. were used to fuel the fire of rioting. “A riot is the language of the unheard.” Powerful words stolen from a speech, which were spoken from a man of peace and shamefully used completely out of context.

The “a riot is the language of the unheard,” comment comes from King’s “the Other America” speech, two versions of which King gave, one on April 14, 1967, at Stanford University, and the other on March 14, 1968, at Grosse Point South High School.

“It is as necessary for me to be as vigorous in condemning the conditions which cause persons to feel that they must engage in riotous activities as it is for me to condemn riots. I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met.

“Let me say as I’ve always said, and I will always continue to say, that riots are socially destructive and self-defeating. I’m still convinced that nonviolence is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom and justice. I feel that violence will only create more social problems than they will solve. That in a real sense it is impracticable for the Negro to even think of mounting a violent revolution in the United States. So I will continue to condemn riots, and continue to say to my brothers and sisters that this is not the way.” Martin Luther King Jr.

This unrest even trickled into Pinedale. A concerned young woman moved by the current affairs enough to organize a peaceful rally. It was disgusting to hear, the “self-proclaimed Americans,” belittling someone for publicly expressing their voice. I praise her for her actions, as she only wanted to show positive support to a negative situation.

Sourced from fear and ignorance, she was attacked through social media by opposing opinions. One such action was the posting of, “be sure to wear your pussy hat so I’ll know who to shoot.” Does this statement not ring of a death threat?

I’m sure this Facebook bully believes he is a true American. What they are foretelling however is they can only defend their clouded concept of freedom when a 20-year-old girl insults it. As a veteran I served my country to defend the rights of the people. Rights that I strongly believe, even during a time when we have no leadership from our government.

I believe in the First Amendment, even when I do not agree with the voice being spoken under this umbrella. When you look deep into your beliefs, no one believes them as strongly as you do. They are your beliefs and they belong to no one else. At times there are common denominators that unite people, but even then, your beliefs are your own.

First Amendment to the United States Constitution

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

However, the First Amendment does not provide the right to conduct an assembly where there is a clear and present danger of rioting, disorder, or interference with traffic on public streets, or any other immediate threat to public safety or order. No one can hide behind the First Amendment and evoke rioting and mayhem, or scheme a possible sniper objective. - dbA


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