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Friday, March 22, 2019

Published with permission from Alternet

July 4 is an occasion for Americans to express their patriotism. But the ways we do so are as diverse as our nation.

To some, patriotism means “my country—right or wrong.” To others, it means loyalty to a set of principles, and thus requires dissent and criticism when those in power violate those standards. One version of patriotism suggests “Love it or leave it.” The other version means “Love it and fix it.”

Former President George W. Bush questioned the patriotism of anyone who challenged his war on terrorism. In his 2001 State of the Union address, for example, Bush claimed, “You’re either with us, or with the terrorists.” He introduced the Patriot Act to codify this view, giving the government new powers to suppress dissent. (The anti-war movement countered with bumper stickers illustrated with an American flag that proclaimed “Peace is Patriotic.”)

In contrast, President Barack Obama has said: “I have no doubt that, in the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it.” He observed that, “Loving your country shouldn’t just mean watching fireworks on the Fourth of July. Loving your country must mean accepting your responsibility to do your part to change it. If you do, your life will be richer, our country will be stronger.” He was echoing the words of Rev. Martin Luther King, who declared, in a speech during the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955, “the great glory of American democracy is the right to protest for right.”

After his followers began chanting “Build that Wall” at a rally last month in Tampa, Donald Trump interrupted his speech and gave a bear hug to an American flag on the stage behind him—apparently as a way to demonstrate his patriotism. (Note: You can see a priceless image of the cringeworthy embrace here.)

Displaying the flag—on one’s house, business, or car, even on coffee mugs, clothing, and tattoos— is a traditional way for people to voice their love of country. Jodi Goglio, chief operating officer at Eder Flag Manufacturing Co. in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, reports that the firm is having a banner year. Sales are up 15% from a year ago, in part because this is a national election year and political events need flags.

Ironically, about 6% of all American flags sold in the U.S. are made in China. Surely Trump, who wants to “make America great again” and “bring jobs home” would support legislation requiring that all American flags be manufactured in this country. But that would conflict with Trump’s own business practices. The entire Donald J. Trump Collection of clothing—including men’s dress shirts, suits, ties and accessories—is made in factories overseas, mostly in China, Bangladesh, and Central America, to take advantage of cheap labor.  What kind of patriotism is that?

Trump follows in the tradition of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, America’s largest corporation, who promoted the motto “Buy American.” But today the retail giant, now owned by his heirs, imports most of its merchandise from Asia, much of it made under inhumane sweatshop conditions

Progressives understand that people can disagree with their government and still love their country and its ideals. The flag, as a symbol of the nation, is not owned by the administration in power, but by the people. We battle over what it means, but all Americans—across the political spectrum—have an equal right to claim the flag as their own.

Indeed, throughout U.S. history, many American radicals and progressive reformers have proudly asserted their patriotism. To them, America stood for basic democratic values—economic and social equality, mass participation in politics, free speech and civil liberties, elimination of the second-class citizenship of women and racial minorities, a welcome mat for the world’s oppressed people. The reality of corporate power, right-wing xenophobia, and social injustice only fueled progressives’ allegiance to these principles and the struggle to achieve them.

Most Americans are unaware that much of our patriotic culture—including many of the leading symbols and songs—was created by people with decidedly progressive sympathies.

For example, the Pledge of Allegiance was authored and promoted by Rev. Francis Bellamy, a leading Christian socialist. Bellamy penned the Pledge of Allegiance in 1892 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America by promoting use of the flag in public schools.

It was the Gilded Age, an era of major political and social conflict. Reformers were outraged by the widening gap between rich and poor, and the behavior of corporate robber barons who were exploiting workers, gouging consumers, and corrupting politics with their money. Workers were organizing unions. Farmers joined forces in the Populist movement to leash the power of banks, railroads, and utility companies. Progressive reformers fought for child labor laws, against slum housing, and in favor of women’s suffrage. Radicals were gaining new converts.

In foreign affairs, Americans were battling over the nation’s role in the world. America was beginning to act like an imperial power, justifying its expansion with a combination of white supremacy, manifest destiny, and spreading democracy. At the time, nativist groups in the North and Midwest as well as the South were pushing for restrictions on immigrants—Catholics, Jews, and Asians—deemed to be polluting Protestant America. In the South, the outcome of the Civil War still inflamed regional passions. Many Southerners, including Civil War veterans, swore allegiance to the Confederate flag.

Bellamy (cousin of best-selling radical writer Edward Bellamy) believed that unbridled capitalism, materialism, and individualism betrayed America’s promise. He hoped the Pledge of Allegiance would promote a different moral vision to counter the rampant greed he thought was undermining the nation. Bellamy initially intended to use the phrase “liberty, fraternity and equality,” but concluded that the radical rhetoric of the French Revolution wouldn’t sit well with many Americans. So he coined the phrase, “one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all,” intending it to express a more egalitarian vision of America, a secular patriotism to help unite a divided nation.

Or consider the lines inscribed on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Emma Lazarus was a poet of considerable reputation in her day, who was a strong supporter of Henry George and his “socialistic” single-tax program, and a friend of William Morris, a leading British socialist. Her welcome to the “wretched refuse” of the earth, written in 1883, was an effort to project an inclusive and egalitarian definition of the American Dream.

And there was Katharine Lee Bates, a professor of English at Wellesley College. Bates was an accomplished and published poet, whose book America the Beautiful and Other Poems includes a sequence of poems expressing outrage at U.S. imperialism in the Philippines. A member of progressive-reform circles in the Boston area, concerned about labor rights, urban slums and women’s suffrage, an ardent feminist, for decades she lived with and loved her Wellesley colleague Katharine Coman, an economist and social activist.

“America the Beautiful,” written in 1893, not only speaks to the beauty of the American continent but also reflects her view that U.S. imperialism undermines the nation’s core values of freedom and liberty. The poem’s final words—”and crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea”—are an appeal for social justice rather than the pursuit of wealth.

In the Depression years and during World War II, the fusion of populist, egalitarian and anti-racist values with patriotic expression reached full flower.

Langston Hughes’ poem, “Let America Be America Again,” written in 1936, contrasted the nation’s promise with its mistreatment of his fellow African-Americans, the poor, Native Americans, workers, farmers and immigrants:

O, let my land be a land where Liberty

Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath

But opportunity is real, and life is free

Equality is in the air we breathe.

In 1939, composer Earl Robinson teamed with lyricist John La Touche to write “Ballad for Americans,” which was performed on the CBS radio network by Paul Robeson, accompanied by chorus and orchestra. This 11-minute cantata provided a musical review of American history, depicted as a struggle between the “nobody who’s everybody” and an elite that fails to understand the real, democratic essence of America.

Robeson, at the time one of the best-known performers on the world stage, became, through this work, a voice of America. Broadcasts and recordings of “Ballad for Americans” (by Bing Crosby as well as Robeson) were immensely popular. In the summer of 1940, it was performed at the national conventions of both the Republican and Communist parties. The work soon became a staple in school choral performances, but it was literally ripped out of many public school songbooks after Robinson and Robeson were identified with the radical left and blacklisted during the McCarthy period. Since then, however, “Ballad for Americans” has been periodically revived, notably during the bicentennial celebration in 1976, when a number of pop and country singers performed it in concerts and on TV.

Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” and “A Lincoln Portrait,” both written in 1942, are now patriotic musical standards, regularly performed at major civic events. Few Americans know that Copland was a member of a radical composers’ group.

Many Americans consider Woody Guthrie’s song “This Land Is Your Land,” penned in 1940, to be our unofficial national anthem. Guthrie, a radical, was inspired to write the song as an answer to Irving Berlin’s popular “God Bless America,” which he thought failed to recognize that it was the “people” to whom America belonged.

The words to “This Land Is Your Land” reflect Guthrie’s assumption that patriotism and support for the underdog were interconnected. In this song, Guthrie celebrated America’s natural beauty and bounty, but criticized the country for its failure to share its riches. This is reflected in the song’s last and least-known verse, which Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen included when they performed the song in January 2009 at a pre-inaugural concert in front of the Lincoln Memorial, with President-elect Obama in the audience:

One bright sunny morning;

In the shadow of the steeple;

By the relief office;

I saw my people.

 As they stood hungry;

I stood there wondering;

If this land was made for you and me.

During the 1960s, American progressives continued to seek ways to fuse their love of country with their opposition to the government’s policies. The March on Washington in 1963 gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. famously quoted the words to “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” repeating the phrase “Let freedom ring” 11 times.

Phil Ochs, then part of a new generation of politically conscious singer-songwriters who emerged during the 1960s, wrote an anthem in the Guthrie vein, “The Power and the Glory,” that coupled love of country with a strong plea for justice and equality. The words to the chorus echo the sentiments of the anti-Vietnam War movement:

Here is a land full of power and glory;

 Beauty that words cannot recall;

 Oh her power shall rest on the strength of her freedom;

Her glory shall rest on us all.

One of its stanzas updated Guthrie’s combination of outrage and patriotism:

Yet she’s only as rich as the poorest of her poor;

 Only as free as the padlocked prison door;

 Only as strong as our love for this land;

 Only as tall as we stand.

This song later became part of the repertoire of the U.S. Army band.

And in 1968, in a famous anti-war speech, Norman Thomas, the aging leader of the Socialist Party, proclaimed, “I come to cleanse the American flag, not burn it.”

In recent decades, Bruce Springsteen has most closely followed in the Guthrie tradition. From “Born in the USA,” to his songs about Tom Joad (the militant protagonist in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath), to his anthem about the 9/11 tragedy (“Empty Sky”), to his album Wrecking Ball (including its opening song, “We Take Care of Our Own”), Springsteen has championed the downtrodden while challenging America to live up to its ideals.

Steve (“Little Stevie”) Van Zandt is best known as the guitarist with Springsteen’s E Street Band and for his role as Silvio Dante, Tony Soprano’s sidekick on the TV show, “The Sopranos.” But his most enduring legacy should be his love song about America, “I Am a Patriot,” including these lyrics:

I am a patriot, and I love my country;

Because my country is all I know.

 Wanna be with my family;

People who understand me;

 I got no place else to go.

And I ain’t no communist,

And I ain’t no socialist,

And I ain’t no capitalist,

And I ain’t no imperialist,

 And I ain’t no Democrat,

Sure ain’t no Republican either,

I only know one party,

And that is freedom.

Since the American Revolution, each generation of progressives has expressed an American patriotism rooted in democratic values that challenged jingoism and “my country—right or wrong” thinking. They rejected blind nationalism, militaristic drum beating, and sheep-like conformism.

Throughout the United States’ history, they have viewed their movements—abolition of slavery, farmers’ populism, women’s suffrage, workers’ rights, civil rights, environmentalism, gay rights, and others—as profoundly patriotic. They believed that America’s core claims—fairness, equality, freedom, justice—were their own.

America now confronts a new version of the Gilded Age, brought upon by Wall Street greed and corporate malfeasance. In the midst of a recession, the gap between rich and poor is still widening. Although the economy has improved in recent years, Americans are feeling more economically insecure than at any time since the Depression. They are upset by the unbridled selfishness and political influence-peddling demonstrated by banks, oil companies, drug companies, insurance companies, and other large corporations. They are angry at the growing power of American-based global firms who show no loyalty to their country, outsource jobs to low-wage countries, avoid paying taxes, and pollute the environment.

We are, once again, battling over immigration and who belongs in America. Some right-wing groups and talk-show pundits, calling themselves patriots, have even challenged the citizenship of our president.

These trends have triggered a growing grassroots movement—reflected by Occupy Wall Street, the Fight for 15, the Dreamers, Black Lives Matter, and others—involving a diverse coalition of community groups, immigrant rights organizations, unions, consumer advocates, and human rights activists—demanding stronger regulations to protect consumers, workers, and the environment from abusive corporations, living wages, fairer trade, an end to police abuse and mass incarceration, and higher taxes on the very rich to pay for better schools, safer roads, and student loans.

This movement, which embodies the idea of “liberty and justice for all,” reflects America’s tradition of progressive patriotism. It recognizes that conservatives have never had a monopoly on Old Glory.

Happy July 4th.

 

Peter Dreier teaches politics at Occidental College. His latest book is The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books). Dick Flacks, professor emeritus of sociology at the University of California-Santa Barbara, is the author of Making History: The American Left and the American Mind. His weekly radio show, Culture of Protest, streams at6 pm (PT) at www.kcsb.org.

Photo: A giant American flag hangs from the West tower of the George Washington Bridge in between New York and New Jersey ahead of the U.S.-Germany 2014 World Cup Group G soccer match June 26, 2014.  REUTER/Mike Segar   

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64 responses to “Progressive Patriotism — Not An Oxymoron”

  1. Mike Kisselstein says:

    Independence Day

  2. Dominick Vila says:

    Happy Fourth of July!

  3. Turn Hearts says:

    To all you globalist out there who hate secession — today must be a bad day for you….

    And just remember 41 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence owned slaves and only 15 did not.

    And also remember that the name ‘America’ is named after an Italian explorer who captured natives and took them back to Europe for slaves.

    So we had:
    The United States of (A Slaver)
    vs
    The Confederate States of (A Slaver)

    Which one was more American (a Slaver) than the other? Think about it. Slavery is not a sin and regathered Israel will take and possess servants once again when Christ returns (Isaiah 14:1-3, especially verse 2). You globalists back off the South!

    Have a great 4th of July — Secession Day….

    • CrankyToo says:

      Deep thoughts from another enlightened conservative “thinker”…..

      • Turn Hearts says:

        At least I know that Lincoln was a hypocritical tyrant who denied the South the right to secede which was not prohibited in the Constitution. Lincoln is the enemy of all that this stands for.

        “If you bring these [Confederate] leaders to trial it will condemn the North, for by the Constitution secession is not rebellion. Lincoln wanted Davis to escape, and he was right. His capture was a mistake. His trial will be a greater one.”
        — Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, July 1867

        • CrankyToo says:

          That’s some fascinating sh!t, Goober. You should file that under “Lessons Learned” and whip it out when the South rises again.

          In the interim, if you ever hope to graduate from 5th grade down there at the Hootin’ Holler Elementary School, you might want to consult a history book that wasn’t written in Texas (where the lines between historical fact and fiction are blurry in the extreme).

          • Turn Hearts says:

            No, you are the one who needs to not only consult a reliable non pro-Abolitionist textbook but God’s Word as well. Slavery and secession were not prohibited in the Constitution and both slavery and secession are not prohibited in the Bible.
            Wake Up!

          • CrankyToo says:

            You’re twisted, Squire. You should turn in your guns before they get your dumb a$$ in trouble…

          • 788eddie says:

            Christian conservative = oxymoron (emphasis on “moron”)

          • Turn Hearts says:

            You can spell you own name I see – Eddie Moron.

          • 788eddie says:

            Is this the old “I know you are, but what am I” routine?

            How sophomoric.

          • CrankyToo says:

            Isn’t that funny? I posted the same thought without first having read your earlier post. Forty million Frenchmen can’t be wrong (as the saying goes).

          • Turn Hearts says:

            No, this is the old calling a moron a moron routine…

          • 788eddie says:

            FAWOMFT!

          • CrankyToo says:

            That’s your reply? “I know you are, but what am I?” I was right… you are a 5th grader. Put your mom on the keyboard, little boy. I need to tell her how to activate parental controls on your computer.

          • CrankyToo says:

            Concur. Hypo-Christian is another term which comes to mind….

          • David says:

            Now hold on!!!! I went to school in Texas. Everyone down here knows that North America was first settled in Texas; colonists from Texas settled all of the rest of the Country; Texas’ Independence Day is a national holiday; Texas has 4 senators while every other state gets only two; the women are prettier here; and, the beer is better!

          • 788eddie says:

            I’ve been to your bars; the beer IS pretty good!

          • David says:

            Yeeehawww!!!

          • CrankyToo says:

            Don’t get all happy and shiny, Old Son. In my experience, beer is pretty damn good wherever you go.

          • CrankyToo says:

            ‘Sup, Bro? Long time no argue….

            So this Turd Party dipstick who calls himself (or herself) Turn Hearts is ranting and raving about the virtues of slavery and secession…. and denigrating the memory of the greatest Republican president, into the bargain. I figure he’s got to be playing left field somewhere down there. What say you?

            PS – I hope you and yours had a wonderful 4th.

        • RobertCHastings says:

          Check out Article IV, section 4. And forget about receiving succor from ANY decisions uttered by the SCOTUS. MANY of their decisions have been reversed within the lifetimes of some of its members (ie- Plessy v Ferguson) and, of course, even Amendments have been reversed, such as the 18th.

          • Turn Hearts says:

            No, there was not prohibition against secession and we are the United States of America not the Held Hostage States of America — United is voluntary. And Lincoln was the one ordering the invasion of sovereign states. You globalists keep forgetting it is government BY the people not some dictator judge or ruler in Washington…

        • 788eddie says:

          Just slightly out of date, Ace.

    • FluffMuff says:

      you friend are a very scary individual; I hope you don’t live in this country nor enjoy any of its goodness….in fact I suspect thousands would be more than happy to purchase you a one way ticket to Baghdad.. We are a very patriotic and progressive family…

      • Turn Hearts says:

        Actually, I hope that one day that the state that I live in will secede from this nation under Satan.

        • 788eddie says:

          You’d rather live under Satan? You are one sorry human being, Turn Hearts!

          • Turn Hearts says:

            No, I want leave this current nation under Satan. Slavery is not a sin but abortion and sexual misconduct are. Since Satan is now in control of the USA morality has been turned upside down. Thanks for your insults let’s me know I am right over the target…

          • 788eddie says:

            My, you are one twisted dude, Turn Hearts!

          • Turn Hearts says:

            No, I think you are twisted. I have read the Bible and God does indeed allow for one to buy, inherit, possess servants. I have read that murder , adultery, homosexuality are capital crimes. Even in 1776, s o d o m y was a capital crime in all 13 colonies. No, you are the one that is twisted…

          • 788eddie says:

            Please refer to the first and second commandments RE: the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in the Gospels.
            Treating others as you would have them treat you; how’s that square with slavery?

          • Turn Hearts says:

            Servants are to submit to their masters and masters are to treat their servants with kindness — both master and slave can be Christians and if you read the entire NT you will come across scriptures that give instructions to masters and servants. You have swallowed this white guilt mongering anti-white propaganda hook, line and sinker and believe that whites need to give up our country because they were involved in slavery.
            Read the Bible and prove to yourself that God and Christ do indeed allow the buying, inheriting, possessing of servants.

          • RobertCHastings says:

            “Masters are to treat their servants with kindness” does NOT sound very much like the slavery of the17th and 18th centuries in America. Apparently you have not read ANY of the slave narratives or seen the remains of slave quarters that remain on many defunct Southern plantations. These did NOT depict a world in which the master demonstrated “kindness” toward his “property”, making your argument one based upon ignorance and unreason, and your life one based upon cowardice.

          • Turn Hearts says:

            You probably are so gullible that you believe that the Duke lacrosse players raped Crystal Mangum too — her own lying narrative. Why would any sane person try to destroy the property he/she is using to work the land? And why would these “victims” not be dead never able to tell their lies if all they said was really the truth? You globalists believe these accusations as the gospel.

          • Turn Hearts says:

            You read Uncle Tom’s Cabin too many times. Your parents should restrict your access to the books in the library.

          • 788eddie says:

            Did your master allow you to write this commentary?

            Oh, I know, you’re okay with this as long as you’re one of the masters, not one of the slaves.

            I wonder if many minorities in this country have the same feelings.

          • Turn Hearts says:

            Sounds like you are rebelling against your god Abraham Lincoln who was advocating being “one of the masters” — especially read the last sentence of his quote:

            “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]-that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of ne gro es, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to in ter mar ry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”
            –Abraham Lincoln “The National Park Service” web site’s “Lincoln Home Historical Site’s Page,” entitled “Fourth Debate Charleston Illinois”

          • 788eddie says:

            You are also not worth my time, you racist bigot.

          • Turn Hearts says:

            Little Eddie takes his racist phaser off kill and sets it back to stun to save energy knowing his once goto weapon is now totally useless and slithers away wondering what happened…

          • 788eddie says:

            Why don’t you help make America Great Again; leave!

          • Turn Hearts says:

            The name America named after a slaver covers 2 continents. I am native born with ancestors going back to the 1600’s. I will stay…But you are free to leave and please do.

          • RobertCHastings says:

            The target looks vaguely like your ass, or is that your face? Hard to tell which. Satan is a construct of conservatives who have no other way to control the weak-minded except by making an alternative god, something the Israelites did while Moses was on the Mount actually talking with God. When TRUE believers leave you people to your own devices,you tend to stray from reality and build imaginary worlds.

          • Turn Hearts says:

            Well, let’s separate and put it to the test. What is there to fear?

        • RobertCHastings says:

          Secession is always the refuge of cowards who are unable to acclimate to a world that is different from the one they envision.

    • 788eddie says:

      Well, Turn Hearts, you didn’t turn my heart, but I did shake my head sadly.

      You are one sorry human being.

      • Turn Hearts says:

        Sorry you hate the truth. You must love the leftist globalist lies…too bad…

        • 788eddie says:

          Maybe your ‘truth,” but not reality.

          • Turn Hearts says:

            Oh, possessing servants will be allowed after Christ returns. Can’t wait to see the sick look on the Leftist globalists’ faces when their battle axe gets retired and all their “racist phasers” get permanently jammed. As your captain cries, “Quick, take your racist phasers off stun and set them on kill.” “We did, Captain, but nothing fazes them. These 1960 models don’t work any more.”

          • 788eddie says:

            You sound like one of them “Christian Conservatives,” which is in itself an oxymoron.

            Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, today, and in his time before the cross, would be the most liberals of liberals. Read your Bible, Turn Hearts.

          • Turn Hearts says:

            I have read His words and I know that He does allow slavery. You have created a false christ in your own image…

          • 788eddie says:

            FAWOMFT.

          • RobertCHastings says:

            You have created a new God in your image, a God who challenges the TRUE God, a God who will be thrown from his false throne, along with all of his Baalist followers.

          • Turn Hearts says:

            No your god believes in murdering 58+ million unborn children while claiming it is not a sin…remember? You are the ones offering child sacrifices to Baal/Moloch…

          • David says:

            His words are, “Love your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your soul. And, love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Not a prescription for slavery there, pal.

    • RobertCHastings says:

      Slavery IS a sin, in both the Christian Bible and the Muslim Quran. The actual ownership of one person by another is a condition that has been challenged by Enlightenment philosophers down to Barack Obama. If you think that racism had nothing to do with either the Civil War or the actions today by those who would keep blacks down, you are a racist. Interesting how you guys can ALWAYS find something in the OLD Testament to cover your racist arguments,but nothing from the NEW (Christian) Testament. How does that work?

      • Turn Hearts says:

        You can only lie. You cannot prove buying, inheriting, possessing servants is a sin. I have never lost a debate on this point. Go ahead and make you move liar and try to prove me wrong.

  4. rich corozine says:

    “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel” – Samuel Johnson
    and truer words have never been spoken. And proven over and over and over and over…ad infinitum.

  5. Daniel Jones says:

    Very well written.
    You did miss out listing the Underground Garage in his credentials, though..

  6. 788eddie says:

    Thank you, Peter Dreier and Dick Flacks for this wonderful article.

    Your examples to illustrate your thesis are good reminders of who we are as a country.

  7. David says:

    Black Lives Matter is a “grass roots movement” to be emulated? Have you lost what is left of your liberal mind?

    • RobertCHastings says:

      Progressives do have the right to publish statements that are contrary to YOUR beliefs, and you have the right to disagree. Yes, “Black Lives Matter” IS a grass roots movement and, like ALL such movements that make this government more aware of what is happening to ANY demographic, it has value.

      • David says:

        I didn’t question whether or not “Black Lives Matter” is a grassroots movement. My question was “should it be emulated?”.
        This organization espouses the killing of peace officers. Value? It has as much “value” as used toilet paper.

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