Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Deeply Disturbing Story

Former President Bill Clinton had no sooner intoned his warning of “deeply disturbed”, angry, anti-government rhetoric leading to violence, than his prognostication was borne out by the headlines.

A white supremacist group, demonstrating on the lawn of the Los Angeles town hall, was attacked by counter-protestors who hurled rocks and bottles at the American and Nazi-flag toting demonstrators.

Who does President Clinton think were the “deeply disturbed people” in this picture? In my opinion, it was one deeply disturbed group facing another, with the Los Angeles Police Department doing their best to protect the First Amendment rights of both parties.

I hadn’t realized rocks and bottles were protected modes of free speech. The Nazi flag is hardly the symbol of First Amendment free speech, either. Maybe that’s why the white supremacists had to carry the American flag, as protection.

The supremacists certainly slid down the slippery slope Clinton was warning about. But the counter-protestors went right down the hill with them. Only the counter-protestors had to be arrested for violence, though.

The white supremacists always have to carry things one step too far. Where Tea Partiers only want illegal immigrants sent back to where they came from, the Nazi guys want everyone who isn’t white sent back.

The L.A. Police should be grateful that’s never happened. Every time they have to put on their tear gas masks to break up extremist-fueled riots, they can thank Garrett Morgan.

In his teens, Morgan had to quit school in order to go to work. But he had saved enough money to hire a tutor to help him continue his studies.

A successful businessman, he invented the forerunner to the gas mask, a safety and respirator hood which was used in 1916 to save miners trapped in a tunnel under Lake Erie.

Good thing he wasn’t sent back to Africa, or wherever he came from.

No, wait – Morgan was born here, in Paris, Kentucky, in 1877, a fact some people will certainly find deeply disturbing. White supremacists will find it disturbing because he wasn’t white.

They can take comfort, though – the Carnegie Institute refused to recognize his achievements.

Liberals will find his story disturbing because he was a successful, self-educated black man - who was born here.

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