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Letters: Columnist intolerant of free speech; Autocracy or democracy? Your vote matters l READER COMMENTARY

Columnist intolerant of free speech

This is in response to Frank Batavick’s June 26 column, “Everybody look what’s going down.”' Batavick wrote the Vietnam War “cannot begin to parallel the systemic racism that has infected this country”, “I just know that whites have got to stop saying ‘I’m not prejudiced’ or ‘This isn’t a racist country,‘” “They don’t understand this is not about them and never has been,” and “they need to listen and finally see.”

Batavick is revealing his intolerance of free expression and debate by policing what is acceptable speech: telling me what I can or can’t say. He is emulating the radical senator from Hawaii, Mazie Hirono, who during the Kavanaugh confirmation, told men to “shut up” and believe her.

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I’m not prejudiced, nor blind, nor deaf. I listen and heard an arrogant NYC Black Lives Matter leader (on Martha MacCallum) threaten us, saying, “If we don’t get what we want we will burn down this system and replace it.” I saw protesters abuse, spit on, and curse policeman. I saw protesters/rioters acting like the Taliban and ISIS, destroying our history. I saw monuments, memorials and statues of Gen. Grant, abolitionist Hans Christian Heg, Francis Scott Key, Columbus, S.F. Early Days and Spanish Priest Serra, Andrew Jackson, George Washington, etc., defaced, burned, or destroyed, while BLM activists and white anarchists intimidated Democratic mayors and governors to cower before the mob.

America has spent trillions and mandated hundreds of laws, policies and guidelines that support/promote minorities: Civil Rights Acts of 1875, 1957, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1982, 1987, 1991, voting rights act 1965, affirmative action, executive orders, proclamations, federal commissions and committees to end discrimination. There are numerous black/minority organizations like NAACP, Congressional Black Caucus, Congress of Racial Equality etc. We have hate crime laws for race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Are these actions of a country infected by systemic racism?

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What would happen if I took down a monument of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Joe Louis, George Washington Carver etc? I would probably get 20 years for a hate crime. Something is wrong in this country when public monuments are being destroyed and the police and politicians do nothing. But, the FBI sends a number of agents to NASCAR, because a noose is found in a garage.

Batavick shouldn’t be so contemptuous of white people, saying this is not about them. We are all Americans and this is about all of us.

Carl Burdette

Westminster

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Autocracy or democracy? Your vote matters

Is our democracy devolving into autocracy? Here are some warning signs.

1. A disdain for human rights, especially for people of color. Under Trump, black lives don’t matter and neither does your life given Trump’s mismanagement of the pandemic. His neglect and incompetence are giving rise to a new kind of genocide by indifference. He wants to revoke healthcare for 22 million Americans under the ACA.

2. Misusing the military to undermine the Constitution. Trump’s use of military force to break up peaceful demonstrations in D.C. to promote his reelection.

3. Trump calling the media “enemies of the people.” According to John Bolton, Trump’s prior national security advisor, Trump said journalists should be executed.

4. Intertwining government and religion for political gain. Trump holding the Bible upside down in front of a church [appears to be] fascist propaganda. Trump rarely attends church and consistently displays immoral behavior.

5. Cronyism and corruption. Trump didn’t drain the swamp, he expanded the swamp with corrupt and amoral swamp creatures like Attorney General Barr and Vice President Pence.

6. [Tainted] elections. Republicans [participate in] voter suppression, gerrymandering, cutting voting places in minority neighborhoods, and opposing mail-in and early voting. Trump also asked communist China for help in winning reelection according to Bolton. He already gets Russia’s help while Russia [reportedly] pays bounties to kill our troops in Afghanistan. Trump betrayed everyone who wears or ever wore a military uniform.

7. Protecting corporate power. Stimulus funds went mostly to wealthy corporations while small businesses and working Americans got little or nothing at all.

We have clear choices in November. You can vote for autocracy or you can vote for democracy. Voting matters.

David J Iacono

Westminster

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