Archive for Thursday, August 17, 2017

Editorial: Standing up against racism

August 17, 2017

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Lawrence public boards and organizations were right to send letters of support to the people of Charlottesville, Va., and to condemn the purveyors of racism who instigated violence that resulted in the death of an innocent woman.

On Saturday, a car driven by a man participating in a white nationalist rally plowed into a group of people protesting the rally, killing 32-year-old legal assistant Heather Heyer and injuring at least 19 others. Two state police officers who had been monitoring the protests also died in a helicopter crash.

Lawrence city commissioners agreed Tuesday to send a letter with condolences and words of support to the mayor of Charlottesville. The letter was accompanied by a proclamation condemning all forms of racism, hatred and bigotry.

“The acts of racism, hatred and senseless violence in Charlottesville were cowardly and not representative of the values we hold as Americans,” the proclamation states.

The University of Kansas and the Lawrence school district also made statements following the events in Charlottesville. In a message signed by Chancellor Douglas Girod, the university expressed “profound sadness and concern” at the events. A statement signed by the school board condemned “hate speech, violence and white supremacy in every form.”

Charlottesville and Lawrence are similar. Like Lawrence, Charlottesville is a university town and the seat of a county of about 100,000 people. Lawrence and Charlottesville lean left politically (Hillary Clinton outpolled Donald Trump 59 percent to 34 percent in Albemarle County) in areas that otherwise are staunchly conservative. Both have rich histories related to the Civil War.

But it’s hard to imagine what Lawrence — or any other community for that matter — would do if it faced the situation Charlottesville did last weekend. Hundreds of people — proudly professing to be Nazis, KKK members, white nationalists or otherwise aligned with white supremacist organizations —descended on Charlottesville for Unite the Right, a two-day rally that the Southern Poverty Law Center called the largest hate gathering in decades. Many were armed with weapons or torches.

President Donald Trump put blame on those who protested the rallies for clashing with rally participants. Violence can never be condoned. But what kind of community — what kind of country — would allow hate rallies to go unchecked, without someone standing and shouting in no uncertain terms that rallying for white supremacy is wrong?

President Trump suggested Tuesday there were “some very fine people” amid the participants in the rally. Poppycock. Fine people don’t stand with armed racists, and they don’t remain silent. Fine people speak strongly and forcefully against acts of injustice. The city of Lawrence, school board and University of Kansas did just that with their letters and statements this week.

Comments

Ken Lassman 5 months, 1 week ago

Thank you, JW for also taking a stand, and doing so eloquently and unambiguously. It's good to see you characterizing as "poppycock" President Trump's statement regarding those who marched side by side with the armed and violent white supremacists as "fine people." The translation of the Dutch-based word "poppycock" is "soft dung," by the way. Soft indeed!

Bob Summers 5 months, 1 week ago

The "armed racist's" were the Blacks with base ball bats taunting the White basement dough boys that had card board cut out shields.

It is not amazing the Liberal creates yet another fantasy to rally around with their fellow genetically influenced haters.

The Trump fantasy of paying harlots to void on a Russian hotel bed didn't work. Trump "collusion" fantasy with Putin didn't work.

So let's go with the "Armed racist" fantasy. See if that works.

Of course it will work with people easily emotionally swayed under the influence of DRD4 genetic polymorphism.

Greg Cooper 5 months, 1 week ago

So, you deny that the Supremacists were armed? Again, Bob, with the denial of reality. It's not very amazing that you post the stuff you do: you obviously have no grasp, or intention to grasp, facts.

Bob Smith 5 months, 1 week ago

Racism comes in several shades. No one group has a monopoly.

Greg Cooper 5 months, 1 week ago

True, Bob, so true. Would that your previous posts would be so unambiguous. Even though that's not what you intended.

Bob Smith 5 months, 1 week ago

Perhaps your failure at reading comprehension isn't universal, Greg.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 1 week ago

Poor Bob. He gets pulled over all the time by the police, because he is white. And when he bought a house that realtor only took him to places where only white people live. Fortunately he had enough money to move out of the white ghetto, because his parents valued education, but his brother fell in with a gang in their crime ridden neighborhood which they were too poor to move from. And he wanted to marry a Black woman, but her family forbade it and it was once against the law. He went looking for a nice suit the other day in an upscale store and was totally ignored by the clerk, because, obviously white people can't afford a $500 suit. All this after he returned from a business trip where he had to rent a car, because no taxis would stop for him, because he's white. Poor oppressed Bob.

Mark Kostner 5 months ago

Lawrence has paid quite the price to fight racism. It was founded as the center of the Free State movement and was sacked and burned because of it and then in one of the worst terrorist acts in US history was burned and 150 men and boys were killed in Quantrill's raid.

Michael Pinegar 5 months ago

The alt-left are anti-America! Communism will NEVER be allowed here!

Bob Summers 5 months ago

The antithesis to the civil society are the genetically identifiable people that make up the "alt-left".

The rattlesnake cannot be taught to not shake its rattle.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months ago

There is no alt left, Michael. That was a term made up by your white supremacist, buddy Spencer.

If you go to a protest you thought would be peaceful and there are a bunch of guys there with Nazi symbols on their shields, and they are backed up by militia with really big guns, and you are a good guy, you have only one option. You say "Dude, I'm outta here. I don't hang out with Nazis, even if we agree on something."

If I go to a protest, and those black hooded anarchists people show up, I would say "Dude, I'm outta here. I don't hang out with these guys, even if I agree with them. They incite violence, even though they haven't killed anyone yet."

And that's the difference. Sure an anarchist punched your buddy, Spencer, but he didn't run him over with a car. I don't condone what the Nazi puncher did, but the guy who murdered Heather was a follower of Spencer.

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