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Thu Aug 20, 2020, 06:13 PM

America: Part Two

"We must come to see that human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of men willing to become co-workers with God, and without this hard work time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation" -- Martin Luther King, Jr (Letter from Birmingham City Jail; April 16, 1963).

I, for one, am enjoying watching the Democratic National Convention. I'm looking forward to tonight's presentations. Obviously, it is different than the 14 ones I've previously watched, but that difference is essential in defining the harsh realities of 2020. It makes me proud to be a Democrat.

Yet I know that the progress which Dr. King wrote about in his powerful letter from jail is not entirely the responsibility of "leaders." It requires that people at the grass roots level invest the "tireless efforts and persistent work" that Dr. King mentioned. The most important grass roots effort at this time is surely getting people prepared to vote, be it by way of mail or in person.

But there is more. For democracy to bring about social justice, we must be engaged in the constant struggle ....not only against stagnation, but against the forces of sexism, racism, and other forms of violence too numerous to list here. On the 16th, I posted an essay about some young adults who engaged in a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally in the village park in Bainbridge, N.Y.

In the days since, there has been on-going reactions to that rally, and the "counter-protest" that took place across the street. The largest regional energy corporation fired one employee, after seeing video of her being physicall aggressive to those in the BLM rally, and spewing ugly racial slurs. I was among the many who contacted the corporate head, a man I had gone to school with.

There have been no consequences for the intoxicated gentleman who physically attacked some of the BLM people. I suppose this is because he had to be saved from real harm by the very people he attacked. I do feel compassion for him, as sometimes it takes more than strong drink to reduce a man to the status of town drunk. I know he has lived a tough life, though that doesn't excuse his violent behavior.

What has struck me as unacceptable is that two members of the village government were participants in the "counter-protest." The one where they were yelling, "We are the new KKK." If one person got fired, and another took a beating, it seems that public officials should be held to a higher standard. At first, I though that could be by addressing it when they come up for re-election.

But, in the time since the rally, I have heard from dozens of young people who organized and attended the event. along with parents and other community people. I know that there have been threats against some of the organizers of the rally. Some people are upset and confused about what options they can use now.

So today, I've been in contact with the NYS Attorney General's Office. from morning until afternoon. They are taking the first steps of investigating members of the "counter-protest." I will be providing them with a substantial amount of documentation.

But, for tonight, my only plan is to enjoy coverage of the convention. Enjoy it!

H2O Man

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H2O Man Aug 20 OP
Laelth Aug 20 #1
H2O Man Aug 20 #2

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 06:37 PM

1. Well done, H2O Man.

Thatís precisely the kind of tireless effort that Dr. King was talking about. Thank you.


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Response to Laelth (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 07:08 PM

2. Thanks, Laelth!

Democracy is constant struggle.

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