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EDITORIALS
June 03, 2020

            The right to peacefully protest is guaranteed in the United States Constitution.  Anyone who supports the Constitution or swore an oath to defend it should have no problem understanding that.

            The opportunity to use that right to peacefully protest as a cover for rioting, looting, destroying property, inflicting injury, and, yes, even killing is never part of a peaceful protest. 

            The peaceful protestors will tell you that and in many cases condemn the actions of those who would use their message and action to cover the lawlessness of others.

            The protests over the last week were a long time coming.  But the riots and destruction that accompanied many of them should not have happened.

            Protesters have a message to get out and the failure by some so-called leaders to have recognized the problems in years past should have led to their removal from their positions – in years past.

            There are regular elections.  Those who insist on adding senseless violence as part of their actions are probably people who never vote, don't pay attention to the actions of their elected officials and how they're handling inequality issues and the conduct of rogue law enforcement officers and the actions of their bosses.  They are only looking to take advantage of the situation to rob and pillage.

            In both cases, rioters and rogue police officers, we are talking about a small minority of people and law enforcement officers.  It's their actions that command our attention.

            When peaceful protestors and news reporters lament about the violence that "we don't agree with their actions but understand the rage behind it." I don't get it.

            Looting and burning business in your neighborhood will do nothing but get you stolen items.  Perhaps setting the fires will satisfy you in some way.  But, looting or burning will not help your neighbors who rely on their business to get what the people in your neighborhood need, especially during this horrible pandemic.

            Many of those neighborhood stores were somebody's small business.  Perhaps a friend of yours and maybe even owned and operated by a minority.  But, you didn't care.  You put blinders on when you took out your rage and punished (or took advantage) of them to the fullest extent of your law.

            Before you set that fire or break that window ask yourself, "Did I vote for the people in charge of the inequality mess that exists today.  Did the person I voted for hire the person in charge and was the person in charge doing his or her job?"

            As of December, 2019, sixty Philadelphia public officials were arrested by the Pennsylvania District Attorney's office since 2017.  That doesn't include those investigated and arrested and convicted on Federal or local charges.

            When the turnout in elections fails to reach 50 percent of the voters, then you are just as much to blame.

            To the peaceful protesters, I support you, I defend your right to protest, I hear your message, and I agree with you.  I will continue to fight inequality whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself.

            And, when it doesn't, I will make the opportunity to do the right thing.  

· End of article ·  


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