Tuesday, July 07, 2020

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I failed to see the “hateful innuendo laden remarks” (“Think Before You Write,” June 11, 2020), in the letter written by David Hes (“Why America Is Burning,” June 4, 2020).

Earl Sandor states, “Beating and gassing peaceful demonstrators for a photo op holding a bible upside down. You can’t make this up” (“The Real Victims,” June 11, 2020). Both sentences are fabrications. The demonstrators were ordered to clear the area for the safety of the White House and those protecting it. Fifty-plus secret service agents and park police were injured by demonstrators and there was a danger of fences being breached. The officers were ordered to clear the area before it was known that the president was going across the street to be photographed by the church. The “peaceful” demonstrators refused to move, no longer being “peaceful.” When one looks at the Bible held by the President, one sees the tassels hanging down from the bottom. A position maintained when the Bible or any other book is held right side up.

The death of George Floyd was most unfortunate, but should not have been the catalyst for all of the rioting, destruction and the accepted abandonment of lawful behavior. Unfortunately the Minneapolis authorities abrogated their responsibilities, de facto, allowing anarchy to take hold and spread. These actions may not have taken place if they had quickly held a press conference. They should have presented chronologically what happened and exhibited the body cams of the officers involved. If this had been done, much of what subsequently occurred may not have.

We have been, and are being, bombarded with accusations of “systemic racism” and “pervasive racism.” Some white people have accepted these phrases as gospel and “the truth.” Those arguing that these terms are not valid are often called “racist” for denying “the truth.” This is not what guides our nation; it is not what we are. Those who grovel, bow down, wash feet and apologize for something that they had no part in doing are not acting on my behalf and are exhibiting foolish behavior.

“The overwhelming majority of protesters are peaceful and nonviolent,” Mr. Sandor writes. But were they? Not obeying legal orders and forcing law enforcement officers to take physical actions is not peaceful. I read with disgust that a “breakaway group” blocked traffic on Route 4 for 30 minutes. Two groups were violating the law and no one was punished. The two? The people blocking traffic and the officers who failed to remove them. The protestors were neither peaceful nor nonviolent. Why didn’t the police stop or remove them? Were they ordered not to? Were they afraid to be videoed if they had to forcibly remove those who would not voluntarily move on their own? It seems that no one cared about those trapped in their cars who may have had appointments with doctors or hospitals, work or people to take care of. Didn’t they matter?

We witnessed a “minority of protestors” causing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage. This included arson, looting and destruction of property. Add to these the assaults and murders that took place. Mr. Floyd’s death should not have given validity for these criminals to do as they desired, in the name of “justice.” Our justice system failed those who suffered losses and encouraged the lawbreakers. Unbelievably, those arrested in many localities were being freed almost as quickly as they were being brought in. In many cases, charges were not even filed. Hundreds of millions of dollars were lost by businesses and homeowners. Many lives were changed.

I refuse to accept that “systemic racism” and “pervasive racism” are part and parcel of our nation. Racism does exist, but not to the extent that those pushing the two previous terms would have us believe. I will not feel guilty, or apologize for being white, or accept the term as having “white privilege.” It is unfortunate that slavery had and does exist, but I will not accept responsibility for it. What has happened and is happening in the cause of Floyd George is beyond logical comprehension. Many ordinary citizens, politicians and leaders in religious and non-religious organizations have lost sight of reality. Politicians are tripping over each other to show how loyal they are to “the people.” They must change the narrative.

Who knows when sense will return?

Howard J. Cohn
New Milford