A Rebuttal to the Rhetoric of Division and Hate

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

Almost a year ago (July, 2020), Melvin L. Thompson wrote a Letter to the Editor entitled “Patriotism and protests” that appeared in the The Monitor, a newspaper published in McAllen, Texas. It depressed and dispirited me. Mr. Thompson’s comments parroted the Right Wing rhetoric that has, and is, dividing our nation.

A REBUTTAL TO THE RHETORIC OF DIVISION AND HATE

By Al Garcia

Almost a year ago (July, 2020), Melvin L. Thompson wrote a Letter to the Editor entitled “Patriotism and protests” that appeared in the The Monitor, a newspaper published in McAllen, Texas.  It depressed and dispirited me.  Mr. Thompson’s comments parroted the Right Wing rhetoric that has, and is, dividing our nation.  Like the ex-President and his conspirators and cohorts, Mr. Thompson makes clear that America is divided into Red and Blue states, and is, in fact, no longer a united states of America.

According to Mr. Thompson’s view expressed in his Letter to the Editor, America has disintegrated into a lawless, anarchistic, unregulated, and even undemocratic leaderless and rudderless nation.

And, unfortunately, I must agree with Mr. Thompson on that point.  Our country is in a state of chaos, confusion and disarray.  A situation made possible by incompetent and bungling leadership at the time, and by an attempt to foster a mindset of white supremacy and autocratic rule in a nation founded on the ideal that all men are created equal, and are endowed with the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

What Mr. Thompson perceives as Blue State disrespect for America, is in fact the very epitome of America’s greatness.  The protestors and rioters Mr. Thompson demeans and questions as to “Who is doing this,” and “Where do they come from all of a sudden,” are his fellow American citizens, who are simply standing up and speaking up, against the return of the open tyranny of hate, bigotry and arrogance -- the very things our Founding Fathers railed and fought against, and the very things they so eloquently wrote against in a document called the Declaration of Independence, and further clarified in the Constitution of the United States. 

I suggest Mr. Thompson read the Declaration of Independence and recall those “old” and “nostalgic” times.  I suggest Mr. Thompson reassess his personal view and perception of what inspires and motivates a “country to prosper in all its grandeur” as he states in his letter.  It certainly is not inept, corrupt and ill-focused leadership seeking to turn back time and let loose the worst of our instincts and of our nature – “Lock her up,” “They shall not replace us.”

The July 4th “Salute to America” Mr. Thompson references in his letter, did bring a sense of “belonging and pride in being a part of this great nation.”  However, not in the sense that Mr. Thompson evidently felt, but rather in a “nostalgic” and wistful way.  It brought back memories of an America filled with hope and dreams, and an unstoppable spirit of pride and nobility.  Something we have not seen or felt in almost four years. 

I do believe Mr. Thompson when he states in his letter that he is someone who “want[s] his country to prosper in all its grandeur.”  However, Mr. Thompson’s concept of “grandeur” differs greatly from ordinary patriotic Americans.  Mr. Thompson’s America is a divided and alienated America.  Mr. Thompson’s America is evidently a nation ruled by strong and tyrannical leaders, where storm troopers and corrupt partisans can intimidate, injure, detain and even kill ordinary Americans seeking to uphold their democratic right to assemble, to protest and to speak truth to power.  For over two centuries that has been the American way.

Mr. Thompson does not mention rioters, protesters or the ugly voices that spew supremist views, Nazi rhetoric and Confederate traitor sympathy. 

Mr. Thompson seems ignorant as to why people resort to protests and riots in our streets.  Again, Mr. Thompson seems oblivious to America’s history and to America’s strength.  It is when people get frustrated and tired of waiting for change, and when their leaders deceive, mislead, betray and fail to deliver the basic promises set forth in our Founding Father’s declaration establishing this great nation – liberty, justice and equality for all, that a situation like George Floyd’s murder, the Rosa Parks bus incident, the walk by Rep. John Lewis across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, the marches and riots that led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the list of people and incidents that changed American for the better goes on and on.

America has never been a perfect nation.  However, we are a nation that learns from its errors and missteps.  We are a nation with a vision to strive to be more perfect, more just, more compassionate.  It is what unites us, inspires us and motivates us people and as a nation.

The ex-President, Mr. Thompson, and people of his kind, who think America is made up of Red and Blue states, are the problem.  They refuse to hear the blowing winds of change that America has always listened to.  America is a rainbow coalition of people, of ideas and of dreams.  America’s greatness is its diversity, and its ability to see the challenges and problems before it, and to embrace the will of the people, not to suppress the very people that has made it great.

Mr. Thompson, I suggest you read the guiding documents that our Founding Fathers left us.  I suggest that you listen to the words of America the Beautiful and the Star Spangled Banner.  And then, rewrite your letter.  This time, don’t talk about “Democratically controlled Cities,” or Antifa, Black Lives Matters, or the lack of “pride and love for this great country of ours.”  Instead, think of our united states – one country under God.  A nation in crises, crying out for leadership, direction and courage. 

When our men and women sacrificed their lives on battlefields across the globe to ensure our right to speak, to assemble, to protest injustice, and to seek a more perfect union, they did not die for a red or blue state, or a Republican or Democratic President or administration.  They shed their blood for a country of immigrants who had a dream, just like they did before they died. 

Let us honor that living American dream.  Let us embrace their nobility and their shattered dreams.  Mr. Thompson and his supports should stop the divisive rhetoric and the hate that is igniting the chaos, and traumatizing the normalcy of our lives. 

America needs the stability and leadership of a man of conscience and character who can restore our confidence and pride in the America that we all remember and love.  An America made up of 51 individual states, not red or blue, but embraced by our red, white and blue flag -- and an America of over 330 million people of every color, creed and ethnicity, sharing one commonality – the desire to live and breathe free.

Shame on you Mr. Thompson, for continuing the rhetoric of division and hate that has brought this nation to this time, and to this place in our history. 


Submitted: May 26, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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