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August 15, 2017

The Guise of Peaceable Assembly

Harry M. Covert

There are plenty of words in the English language to express and condemn the odious events of the past weekend in Charlottesville, VA. All are appropriate for the unpeaceable assembly where haters had their day.


The ghastly would-be protestors placed scars that will be difficult to erase for years to come. People of good will have their work cut out for them.


Officials estimate 5,000 people invaded Charlottesville on Saturday. They were identified as alt-righters, white supremacists, Ku Klux Klanners and other misfits. On the other side were Black Lives Matter subscribers and a few other watchers.


It was unbelievable to see the fighting explode with fisticuffs, tear gas, then become more horrible when a 20-year-old Ohio man drove his car into the downtown crowd killing an innocent local paralegal and injuring 39 others.


This is no excuse. The knot heads, including out-of-town haters of the highest sort, amounted to 0.00001548 percent of the 323.1 million American population. This is an insignificant number, but invidiousness at its worst.


There is no way to condone the horror. When officials granted permits for the day, they never expected such devastation from hate. Already permits in Richmond, VA, and other cities have been issued or are waiting approval. A bomb, excuse me, another explosion is about to happen. Under the guise of legal "peaceable assembly," police will have to be prepared again.


Sadly, two Virginia State Troopers died when their patrolling helicopter crashed in Albemarle County. What price was paid to protect the protestors, the haters and the watchers?


There is no way to avoid calling the alt-right crowd cowards; or the KKK yellow bellies; or the white supremacists evil without redemption; the Nazi flaggers are abhorrers beyond description. They are and I'm saying it.


The alleged car killer is charged with second degree murder in Virginia. The justice department in all probability – and correctly – will level domestic terrorism charges. The Ohioan likely will get a state life prison sentence. If the federal courts take over, he'll get life in Colorado's Super Max or the "needle" in Indiana.


How many times can the C-Ville situation be reviled? I've counted at least 742 synonyms and 942 antonyms for the word "hate." All appropriate.


The hatefulness being spewed against the president has surpassed all courtesy and respect for the man and the office. He was firm in decrying the terror.


I've watched and read the reporting. Yes, hate has gotten out of hand and in reportage. Because we are guaranteed freedom of speech and freedom of the press, we are not given carte blanche to pick the hate we like or approve merely to fit our positions, which seem mostly political in these days.


Hate has no place in our lives. It's there, unfortunately. It takes more than talk and nice slogans.


Gabbing hate talk on one side, then expecting other hate proliferators to quiet down is folly, flummery.


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