Thursday, October 29, 2020

A reminder that history does repeat itself

| October 10, 2020 12:00 AM

Like many of our senior citizens, I am worried about the world we are leaving behind for our children and grand children. As I watch the rage and violence on our city streets, nightly on TV, I see mostly young people, black and white. This saddens me because I am reminded that history does repeat itself. Will we learn from history?

As a 72 year old, I grew up near some of the Race Riots of the 60’s, and witnessed campus unrest as the protests against the war in Vietnam tore the UM campus apart. Following this I witnessed, first hand, racism in Vietnam, where I served as a U.S. Army War Correspondent. With this history comes perspective, a little of which I would like to share.

In the 60’s there was even more racism than there is today. We have come a long, long way, but there is a long way to go before all races can agree that “all men are created equal.”

Racism is an ugly cancer in our society, and perhaps one positive thing that I hope will come from our current troubles is that there will be more debate and action in changing the things that need changing. Violence is not the answer, but it does highlight the need for public discourse, which can lead to positive change. How we change is the key to keeping America a free, and better place to live, for all Americans.

During the protests in Kalispell, at Depot Park, I spent a few hours walking around, observing and talking to a lot of people. I applaud the young people that were there to give their support to the reality that black lives really do matter. I also saw parents there supporting their kids. Some felt intimidated by all of the heavily armed men and were concerned for the safety of their children. The armed men, however, were not there to promote violence, but were instead there to guard the War Memorial and their city from vandalism. For vets, the War Memorial is sacred ground, and many of these men were vets.

The main point I would like to make is for the younger people. I would agree that all lives matter, and that we need to make some changes in our country to help insure that the ideals penned by Thomas Jefferson are met: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Please, study history and current events, and then take a stand for what you believe is right. It is misguided to follow a movement like Black Lives Matter, without educating yourself about its origins and goals. Let me take a moment to help educate you. The primary founders of the BLM movement are self-avowed Marxists. They are not promoting equality for black people as much as they are promoting the overthrow of the United States government. This is a cultural revolution, and it is showing signs of morphing into a civil war.

Where are the demands for civil discourse between our government officials and the protesters? I have not heard of any! The violence and criminal behavior will have to be forcefully put down before real progress can be made. The seemingly endless rioting and mayhem will only allow the perpetrators to advance their anti-American agenda. During the 1960 riots, the peace was reached only after the police and National Guard were allowed to do their jobs. Sadly, well over 300 people were killed in the process, but the riots stopped. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 followed. It is well past time for grievances to be aired with civil discourse. Encourage your local, state and federal officials to meet with you, and voice your opinions.

Please Google Black Lives Matter, Marxism, Communism and Socialism to learn more about what is going on in our country. If you decide that you are in agreement with the ideals of any of these philosophies, then be prepared to sacrifice your liberties.

—Bob Starks, Kalispell