The ragtag and motley crew of militiamen who stood up to a British empire with muskets on their shoulders were revolutionaries. 

Independence did not come politely. It came about because of protest. The highest form of patriotism is dissent. Silence, gay people have learned, equals death.

Black slaves who started an underground railroad to free themselves from unjust slavery did so while risking their lives. They were revolutionaries, too.

Women suffragettes who fought for their right to vote were not welcomed with open arms. They were abused and accosted, and still today, a hundred years later, are fighting for equal rights in the workplace.

Coal miners in the early 1900s who formed unions to demand humane working conditions did not do so quietly. They were met by forces that tried to crush them, financially and physically. They were revolutionaries, too.

In 1965, the coalition of civil rights activists who dared to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma were honoring the fatal shooting of a black 26-year-old deacon. They were met with police who sought to “dominate” them. Sound familiar? They encountered tear gas, bullwhips, and rabid dogs. 

There that day toexercise their constitutional right to vote, in defiance of segregationist repression,their resistance contributed to the passage of a landmark Voting Rights Act.

In 2020, over 150 years later, legislators are still trying to suppress their votes. It denied Stacy Abrams her rightful place in the governors mansion in Georgia last year.

Students protesting the United States involvement in Vietnam during a 1968 political convention in Chicago were met with a sick mayor, maniacal cops and unforgivable brutality.

Two years later, at Kent State, unarmed student protesters on a college campus were slaughtered by National Guardsmen with real bullets. Black students on another campus had met a similar fate not long before then.

Two years after these murders, the draft ended. Two years after that, a President resigned, and soon a war ended, but not before Weathermen torched campuses and Black Panthers made a statement about injustice. It was not a quiet time.

Stonewall may be a parade in 2020, but it began with a riot at a gay bar in New York City a half-century ago. Led by drag queens, a group of fed-up gays became nighttime warriors, rising spontaneously against ongoing police brutality and inhumane degradation. Fifty years later, our transgender community is still a victim of wanton violence. 

If this column were to synthesize the history of protest in the U.S., it would fill pages, not paragraphs. So, know this, dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

A pandemic, unemployment and a tyrant are testing us. There is chaos and cacophony in, about, and around us. It has happened before, but we still got here today. We will make today’s storm tomorrow’s rainbow. Bet on it.

The anguish and angst you are going through are tougher today than it has ever been. Mama never promised us a rose garden, just a chance to till the field. Sow it. We get what we reap.

The first amendment is at the core of our democracy. It is our constitutional right and indeed almost our duty to question authority, not deferentially acquiesce to it.  

None of us is better than the rest of us Independence of spirit and free will is in the American DNA. That is why some of us become astronauts and others want to know whether you are going to have fries with your Big Mac.

If we have one fundamental right it is that no matter our station or stature, we have an absolute right to assert our rights, and an inalienable right to live our life the way we so choose.

Be not upset by the voices that rise in anger today. Those walking in the night challenging injustice are using their voices to say that we will not be policed by a police state.

By taking to the streets and protesting injustice today, we are fighting to make our democracy more democratic tomorrow.

We are telling the Donald Trumps of the world he serves us, not we, him — no matter how many Bibles he holds up. In America, you dont even have to believe in God.

America is premised upon the belief that no one of us is greater than any of us. It doesnt come easy.Every generation is challenged, by sudden strikes or unanticipated epidemics.  It is up to us to rise to those tests.

We are a local newspaper, covering local news.

Last Saturday, while the rest of the nation was taking to the streets, a local strip club had a group of boys in bathing suits washing cars.

Excuse me, but I cannot breathe.We are who we are.We have miles to go before we sleep.


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