To the editor:
All Lives Matter! There. I said it. I’ve declared myself a racist, a “Human Race”-ist!
Babies’ lives, blue (police) lives, brown, white, yellow, and yes, black lives ALL matter. The millions of Jewish lives snuffed out by the Third Reich mattered. The estimated 30 to 45 million Chinese lives erased in Mao’s Great Leap Forward mattered. The more than two million Asians exterminated by Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge in the 1970s mattered. The lives of approximately 800,000 Tutsis ended by Hutus in 1994 mattered. The 220 black lives lost to murder in Virginia in 2019, over half black men ages 18-34 mostly killed by other black men in the same age category1, mattered. The lives of more than 350 black people, also mostly young black men2, violently ended in Chicago since the beginning of this year mattered. The millions of babies systematically dissected in the wombs of their mothers mattered. And yes, George Floyd’s life mattered.
This is not to make light of George Floyd’s death, but to offer some perspective sorely needed during these tumultuous times. Since Mr. Floyd’s killing our nation has suffered more organized violence directed against its most time-honored traditions (the rule of law and freedom of ALL speech in particular) than at any time in recent memory. Riots, sometimes mischaracterized by some as peaceful protests, are ripping asunder the social fabric that has made the United States an exception in the annals of history. Should we as a people be unable to stop the destruction of our cities might we become just another footnote in a future history book? We certainly might and the example of Venezuela to our south should make that clear to anyone who doubts this is possible. So, what to do?
Fight, no, WORK to ensure all speech is heard and not suppressed by the government or institutions in response to a threat of violence. Threats of violence have become increasingly common against conservative voices, stopping them from being heard on college and university campuses as well as in the city square. Organizational and governmental leaders must steel themselves against knee-jerk reactions to threats from any group. When such leaders fail, we should hold them accountable at the ballot box and with our wallets.
WORK to peacefully address issues, to do so without impugning the character of those who don’t agree with us.
WORK to use hard data and not anecdotal evidence when considering options. Should we be spending our time and brainpower blaming the police for everything when there are more significant threats to the lives of our citizens?
WORK to keep our eyes wide open to the true nature of groups demanding radical changes to our government and not to be intimidated into contributing our hard-earned dollars or bowing down and taking a knee in order to avoid their ire. Capitulation to such pressure never ends well.
Daniel E. Braswell