Over the weekend in Boston there was a Free Speech Rally and local Civil Rights activists were concerned about the rally’s association to white nationalists individuals and groups. Prior to the rally, members of the KKK had said they would be attending.
In reality, the rally turned out to be a flop. Only about 50 people turned up to actually participate. What was inspiring was that 40,000 people showed up to protest the event. The attendees ended up asking police for an escort from the Boston Common, a historic site of protest and freedom, only 45 minutes into the rally. And by the evening, it had been reported that a little over 30 people had been arrested for disorderly conduct. But so far, no stories of violence or real conflict.
Now as a former journalist, I believe in the right to free speech. But the question must be asked – to what point? Do we have the right to slander people of other cultures just because of the color of their skin or what they call God? Do we have the right to refuse people the right to marry because of who they love? Do we have the right to force immigrants to leave their adopted homes because they weren’t born here?
There are no “ifs,” “ands” or “buts” about it.
But as much as I do not like what is going on in Washington these days, especially in the White House, our strongest recourse is through the strength of our words, not the force of our fists. Because, when it comes down to it, the battle these miserable people are fighting aren’t with the peacemakers, it is with themselves.