At least 6 pedestrians struck along route of white nationalist march; witness said it was 'absolutely intentional' https://t.co/L8HTuHquTQ— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 12, 2017
Who took this photo? Should be nominated for a Pulitzer. A black police officer protecting a group of men who wish him harm. Incredible. pic.twitter.com/bONDFgr9ap— Yashar Ali (@yashar) August 12, 2017
The news from last night... and this morning... have me feeling some feels.
First, let me just say that I would fight to the death to defend the very fundamental American right to free speech. That right, to me, is a fundamental part of the American DNA. It's what we are and makes us who we are. That freedom, along with the other unquestionable freedoms enshrined in our Bill of Rights, are non-negotiable and are absolutely core to what we are and who we are, as a nation.
However, again, today, as we've seen in other parts of the country over other issues over the last few years... protest turns violent which leads to destruction and causes harm to people and property. Which causes fear in a community.
And that... is when protest stops being free speech and devolves into domestic terrorism.
We should, as a people, have ZERO TOLERANCE for domestic terrorism.
Progressive or conservative. Right or left. Democrat or Republican or Independent. This country is so amazing because we don't always agree... but we find ways to build common ground... in an agreeable way... so that this country, to paraphrase President Lincoln, will not "perish from the face of the earth."
Today, these hateful people who allowed "peaceful protest" to devolve into domestic terrorism... have embarrassed - and betrayed - the ideals behind the words "We, the People..."
There is no 'excuse' for this stuff in the news.
There is no "well, we need to understand" and none of this... can be justified... for any reason.
We are a better nation than this.
I don't have to agree with your free speech. I'll fight for your right to have it. But when you allow your protest to become criminal activity that puts the security and safety of Americans - regardless of race, creed, religion, or sexual orientation - at risk... that's when I'll stand up and lend my voice to the chorus of other voices encouraging you, by any lawful means necessary, to stand down.
That's what needs to happen, in my opinion, in Charlottesville, Virginia, today. In America... today. And, frankly, around the world.
The United States of America... WE... MEAN something.
We are a better nation than this. Let's do our part... constructively... to be better. To move past issues of hate. To move past issues of questioning who has a right to universal human rights. To move past fundamental risks that compromise the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
You, who are reading this right now, have a part to play in this urgent national conversation which needs to be happening, in my opinion, now. In fact, it's a conversation we should have been having but for whatever reason, we haven't because we, for whatever reason, just can't be American enough to have it.
We, the People.
I'd ask you to join me in praying for the men and women in the Virginia National Guard, for those cops on duty in Virginia and around the country, who are working right now to protect and serve both the protestors and those people at risk of violence when some of these hateful bigots allow their free speech to devolve to illegal acts of violence and domestic terrorism.
I also want to thank those same men and women in law enforcement and in the National Guard for what they do tirelessly on our behalf.
Thanks for reading.
Note - these are the opinions of ME and are my thoughts on this stuff in the news, and don't reflect anyone else but me.