Growing up in Washington, D.C., in the 60’s gave me an acute awareness of politics, the civil rights movement and, eventually, radical leftist movements. In 1965-66, as a barely teenage volunteer for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee I helped plaster windshields and doorways with posters to promote the boycott of DC Transit, the DC busline, over a proposed 5 cent bus fare increase. I recall the poster clearly, a classic example of demonization depicting the owner of DC Transit, O. Roy Chalk, as a horrible Boss Tweed type caricature.

Tear gassed downtown in ’71 attending the Mayday protests — nothing like the current crop I should add — I was introduced that summer to the Weather Underground’s tactics and intentions by useful idiots who were helping them in DC, and to my everlasting regret that is still crystal clear in my memory today. You do not forget sawed-off 12-gauge shotguns or boxes of dynamite. They were the ancestors of the Antifa of today.

I shudder to think what the Weather Underground would have done if they’d had encrypted communications via cell phone and media complicity back then.

That is simply personal background to my observations of many voices in today’s turmoil that are getting very unfair and discriminatory exclusion from the “conversation” currently occupying the newspapers here in Maine — and elsewhere.  Here is an example, one of many conservative black voices, distorted or ignored by the media these days.

The Sen. Tim Scott (R.-S.C.), a Black man, recently chaired a committee to draft legislation, the Justice Act, to reform police procedures and training nationwide. Sen. Scott was derided by Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin (D.-Ill) saying, “Let’s not do something that is a token, half-hearted response . . .” making an effort by  Sen. Scott, who has personally experienced racial profiling – even in the Capitol building where many U.S. Capitol police are Black — a “token” effort.

Can you hear the tone-deafness in the partisan nature of that comment?

Sen. Scott’s response (in part) is moving and more meaningful than any of the pontifications of the coordinated media attempting to amplify the issues.

“And I came to the floor today, Mr. President, to speak about my new bill, the Justice Act, our Republican response to the police reform. And I was sitting in my office when the Senator from Illinois talked about the token legislation. To think that on this day as we try to make sure that fewer people lose confidence in this nation – to have the Senator from Illinois refer to this process, this bill, this opportunity to restore hope and confidence and trust from the American people, from African Americans, from communities of color – to call this a token process hurts my soul for my country, for our people. To think that the concept of anti-lynching as a part of this legislation to be considered a token piece of legislation because perhaps I’m African American, the only one on this side of the aisle, I don’t know what he meant, but I can tell you that, this day, to have those comments again hurts the soul.

On the other side, they race bait on tokenism, while this legislation would provide resources for body cameras, for anti-lynching, for de-escalation training. But no, we can’t concern ourselves with the families I sat with at the White House yesterday and in my office yesterday.

Instead, we want to play politics because this is 2020 and we’re far more concerned about winning elections than we are about having a serious conversation on reform in this country.

No, we would rather have a conversation about tearing this country apart, making it a binary choice between law enforcement and communities of color instead of working for the American people, bringing the reforms to the table so that we have a chance to balance this nation and direct her toward due north and working on serious, tangible, measurable results. Why is that not enough? Why can’t we just disagree on the three or four items that we disagree upon? Why can’t I say what I’ve been saying, which is that the House bill is, in fact, the blueprint for some progress?”

Sen. Scott is correct. The proponents who trot out the binary choice, and promote the false history of their ideology are the impediments to truth and justice. Segue from the eloquence of Sen. Scott to the ineloquent mobs of wokesters pulling down statues, demanding the firing or boycotting of academics (and others) who do not meet their Talibanesque-Marxist proscriptions of “approved “views.

These wannabe Robespierres are being coordinated in many cases by hardly spontaneous persons and organizations, social media and the news media are helping without conscience by white-washing the destruction which will have long term catastrophic effects.

As of today useful idiots of Antifa are pulling down statues of George Washington in Portland, Oregon, and Christopher Columbus in other cities. Somehow the statue of Vladimir Lenin in Seattle remains untouched (although there are calls for it to be removed).

As Cornell law professor William Jacobson, targeted for boycott and firing by BLM for his criticism of the movement, pointed out that these radical ideological purity “protests” are absolutely a threat to academic freedom and freedom of speech.

Freedom of the press is not the goal of anarchists, or those who submit to them.

Another View is a weekly column written collaboratively by Dale Landrith of Camden, Ken Frederic of Bristol, Paul Ackerman of Martinsville, Jan Dolcater of Rockport and Ralph “Doc” Wallace of Rockport.

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