I am a product of the 60’s. I was born in 1953. I was 10 when John Kennedy was assassinated. I remember that day very well. I was 15 years old in 1968 when Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in April of that year. And I remember where I was when I heard the terrible news. I was at a NY Ranger hock game at Madison Square Garden. And the news went through the arena like wild fire. Again it was awful. And just three months later inJune of 1968 I woke up to the terrible news that Robert F Kennedy had been shot in California while campaigning for President. I assumed my parents knew and when I woke them up to learn more, was the one to give them the terrible news. He died shortly thereafter. 1968 was just terrible.
And there was more to come in 1968. There were terrible protests at the Democratic National Convention where Hebert Humphrey was nominated to run for President. And the demonstrations got violent and the Chicago police were extremely violent in there response to the protestors violence..
Those protests were over the Vietnam war and the opposition of many to that conflict. And it got worse. Less than two years later in the spring of 1970 four students at Kent State University in Ohio were shot and killed by Ohio National Guard troops. They were protesting the Vietnam war.
Protest and demonstrations are part, A very important part, of our American history. It is how we redress our grievances. It is encouraged by our Constitution. It is whose are. Yes, it should be non violent. It should never be done with the intent of hurting individuals, police or demonstrators. And protestors should never use it as an excuse to loot or burglarize or do property damage.
And this is what we are seeing today in June of 2020, demonstrations, mostly peaceful, protesting the systemic racist actions against blacks in our country. And the tacit approval of silence and compliance by our society. Black lives matter. And this pandemic acceptance of this atmosphere in our country must be addressed
Our President would have you think that these protestors are terrorists and the full might of our military should be used to crush the demonstrations. They are not. How utterly wrong he is.. how ignorant he is of our history.
Was Abraham Lincoln a terrorist when he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation? Of course not. Was Rosa Parks a terrorist wen she sat in the front of the bus in Birmingham? Of course not. Was Susan B Anthony a terrorist when she demonstrated for the right for women to vote? How about MartinLuther King Jr. when he led the Civil Rights movement ? One last concept. Was President LyndonB Johnson-a terrorist when he fought for and got Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964? I think you get my point.
We are all afraid of change but change is good. We are at one of those moments in our history where change is coming. And it will be good. And we should all embrace the process and the conversation.