Letter writer: Dissent is patriotic

Graphic by Lori Deaton

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” — Mark Twain

We will, of course, disagree as individuals about the “when our government deserves it” part, but what is crystal clear is that our country has always been stronger because of dissent and protests. It’s what separates us from Vladimir Putin’s Russia, from China, from Saudi Arabia, from North Korea.

The First Amendment of our Constitution reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Rep. John Lewis, one of our great national heroes, marched and was nearly beaten to death by the police because he dared march for the right to vote in 1965. This is just one example of when the protections enshrined in the Constitution were ignored.

The KKK has planned a march on Dec. 3 to celebrate Donald Trump’s election. I cannot disagree more with their views, and I thank the North Carolina Republican Party for speaking out against the march. But even the KKK has the right to march under the First Amendment. And if the Loyal White Knights of Pelham, N.C., do march, you better believe I will be there to protest and speak out.

I will speak out and protest against policies that target black and brown people, LGBTQ individuals and families, immigrants and religious minorities. And I will not apologize for protesting, because the ability to dissent, the First Amendment’s guarantee of the right to speak out against the government, is what makes America great.

— Aaron Sarver


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39 thoughts on “Letter writer: Dissent is patriotic

  1. Phil Williams

    I agree with your sentiment, and I do try to at least look at things from the points of view of those with whom I disagree. However, I think that some folks have mistaken gratuitous nastiness for legitimate dissent, and look upon the First Amendment as simply license to be ugly “just because they can.”

    • The Real World

      Totally agree, Phil.

      And also, some make promises to leave the country depending upon certain things happening — then those things happen and, instead, they babble, squirm, make excuses, then stuff a pacifier in their mouths and pout. Does anyone really wonder why that team lost?

  2. boatrocker

    Nice work with the Mark Twain quote. Our country was founded on dissent,
    and those that would blindly and unconditionally trust the police. military and gub’ment were known as Tories during the Revolutionary War for
    collaborating with England (the Establishment). Dissent is the penultimate check and balance.

    And remember, seething unfocused anger altright types, in the words of Bill Maher (hats for sale on his website),
    “We’re Still Here”. You’re stuck with us unless Herr Bannon decides to fire up the gas chambers again.
    Screw the celebs who want to move to Canada. I can do without Cher and still survive.

    Please note the war on the free press has already begun with the incoming administration suggesting restricting free access of the press to the White House. Their “Luggenpresse” is what Hitler’s critics shouted at reporters in 1930’s Germany as they were attacked by the Brownshirts and their ilk.
    Education will the the next victim.

    No we don’t plan on moving as ‘love it or leave it’ went out with shipping a kid off to war without
    letting him vote, thinking it was proper to call a black man ‘boy’ and moviegoers actually
    being able to stomach a John Wayne movie.

    Oh yeah, and just to incite fear and loathing, let me whisper the names of the 2 Jewish activist boogeymen the altright posters seem to blame for everything-
    Soros, Alinsky, Soros, Alinsky, Soros, Alinsky.

    • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

      “Please note the war on the free press has already begun with the incoming administration suggesting restricting free access of the press to the White House”

      In actuality, bypassing something that is no longer needed or relevant. The prez doesn’t need Fake News Inc. because he can access the public directly through social media. Democracy! Love it!

      • boatrocker

        Congrats- That’s probably the most messed up thing I’ve read read from you.
        And it confirms my previous posts about the altright.

        Sad you didn’t have the courage to call it Luggenpresse like the altright has agreed upon.
        Other code words include:

        cuckservative or cuck
        white genocide
        ((( ))) around journalists’ names to denote Jewish sounding names
        memes such as Pepe the Frog
        Dark Enlightenment
        Hey, your name Snowflake is on all the lists too!
        so is Social justice Warrior!
        The Right Stuff

        I suppose the only thing your posting handle is truly missing to denote its true origins is the number 1488.
        have fun perusing the Internet for dopey eco freak and puppies articles.

        If Fake News = news you don’t like or that hurts your feewings, you’re in for a rough next four years.
        Have fun with your Cultural Revolution.

        • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

          The only time I’ve heard it called lugenpresse was when the birddogging was happening in full force. My impression at that time was that it was a media contrivance in order to make Trump supporters look like nazis. I still think so.

          You forgot presstitute and reportwhore.

          • boatrocker

            But of course I did, thank you for reminding me.
            I do bow to your expertise in this matter.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            That article was helpful to realize that the term has contemporary usage in Germany. Didn’t know that. So the connection to nazism is just another manufactured smear by the press.

          • Huhsure

            You’ll just do any contortions to deny reality, won’t you? Do you even listen to yourself as you write this nonsense?

            The term, whether or It it is in use today in Germany, is used TODAY in the US by the white nationalist alt-right precisely because it was a term promulgated by the Nazis.

            But if you want to deny that, and deny the Nazi salutes and the Seig Heils and the white nationalist reign of hate incidents that have sprung up since the election, and the inflamed pile of misogynists, homophobes, islamophobes, and yes, more white nationalists who make up Trump’s inner circle and proposed cabinet, then go right ahead. But you’re living in a fantasy, snowflake.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            Who cares? You don’t get it yet. We don’t care what you think. Your smug posturing and moralizing are irrelevant. The boy has cried “wolf” too many times. You and yours are irrelevant.

          • Huhsure

            Oh, I get it. I had your number from the beginning, snowflake. It’s clear that you don’t give a damn what anyone thinks. Nor do you really give a damn about, you know, FACTS .

            It’s clear from your own statements that you assent to all the race-baiting, all the misogyny, the sexual assaults, the Islamophobia, the white nationalism. The question is where is the line drawn between assent for a thing and asserting the thing? Are you one of the perpetrators in those 867 hate incidents recorded by the SPLC? Are you one of the perpetrators of the countless others that were never reported? How many people DO you abuse on a daily basis? (Apart from those who dare read your odious screeds in our forums?)

            Congratulations. You should feel great that your ringleader managed to con his way into the presidency. But if you think the majority of voters is now irrelevant, if you think that this bodes a re-ascendance for your tribe and not the dying gasp of a once-heralded group that has long since lost all moral authority, then you my friend are the one that doesn’t get it.

            If you think we’re gonna cede once inch to that toupee’d ingrate, that omnishambles and his cohort of lumpy, onanistic fascists and leisured sycophants, you’re in for a bit of a shock.

            That you don’t see that the con was on you all along tells me everything about you.

  3. The Pontificator

    I’m less concerned with the KKK (whom virtually no one likes) than with the endless infantile antics of The Participation Trophy Generation in regard to the outcome of of the election.

    • Huhsure

      “Whom virtually no one likes,” but was courted ceaselessly by our “president elect” during the election with his racist, xenophobic rhetoric.

      • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

        The unending extremist hyperbole of the radical left. Name one instance in which he was racist or xenophobic.

        • Huhsure

          Oh, well, since you asked nicely:

          1) Insisted Judge Curiel was biased because “he’s a Mexican.”

          2) Sued for preventing people of color from renting in his NY buildings. In the press he alleged a “nationwide drive” to force landlords to “rent to welfare recipients.” His countersuit was thrown out, and for two years he had to follow a plan meant to redress his racism: for.tn/1UJWt1I

          He was sued again 3 years later.

          3) His initial refusal to condemn the white supremacists campaigning for him. And no, his “stop it” later doesn’t count for anything. cnn.it/1KUM0SX

          4) His racist reaction to the “Central Park 5” incident. EVEN AFTER THEY WERE EXONERATED BY THE EVIDENCE. huff.to/2dZN11B

          5) President of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino quoting Trump: “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys wearing yarmulkes… Those are the only kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else…Besides that, I tell you something else. I think that’s guy’s lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks.” Trump didn’t deny it, saying the book the quote appeared in was “probably true,” then two years later denied it. http://wapo.st/29Zz2mj

          6) bit.ly/2eNzRmJ

          7) “Birtherism,” whose flames he fanned repeatedly for years, was nothing but a veiled racist attack on President Obama.

          8) Implied Obama wasn’t qualified to get into the schools he got into: nbcnews.to/2fxYuWq

          9) His call to keep all Muslims from entering the country (a call he has since attenuated, but it’s IN THE RECORD.) cnn.it/1OQlxnt

          10) His racist dogwhistle about Mexicans during his campaign announcement.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            Try again, your links don’t work. Everything you stated is pretty weak for the blanket charge of racism and xenophobia.

            You did forget to include that he insisted that Palm Beach country clubs desegregate.

          • Huhsure

            Pretty weak? Pretty weak?!

            You’re hilarious, man! Never change.

            You know what’s “pretty weak”? Not knowing how to cut-and-paste a link.

          • Huhsure

            And oh, you mean the Palm Springs resorts where he claimed anti-Semitism to try to weasel out of zoning regulations? slate.me/2dnBJUT

            He’s a racist, but more than that, he’s a con man.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            I cut and paste, but it was just Google. I don’t need people to do google searches for me.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            Oh I see what happened. I usually double-click to highlight a URL and then right-click and select “Open URL in new tab”. Since your URLs weren’t normal, that option wasn’t available, and the only thing available was Search Google, which I unconsciously selected.

    • luther blissett

      “the endless infantile antics of The Participation Trophy Generation”

      If any generation deserves that label, it’s the (white) Boomers whose parents got subsidized suburban housing, who themselves got cheap college educations or well-paid unskilled jobs, who voted themselves tax cuts under Reagan and increases to Medicare and Social Security under W Bush, and who whine and whine and whine about the entitlement of young people.

      They got all this for showing up at the right time in American history. Well done, Boomers, for choosing when to be born.

    • Phil Williams

      Yes – from what I’ve seen with certain protestors, it seems to be all about “the Cause”. A prominent black activist said in an NPR interview awhile back that, in her opinion, one of the greatest hindrances to progress of real social change was interference and involvement by white liberals. She said that many of them are well-educated, well-traveled, hold down good jobs, drive nice cars and live in lovely gated communities – they contribute opinions and advice and show up at rallies and protests as if they have gone slumming for the weekend. And what she found particularly obnoxious was the subtle racism of low expectations that some white liberal assistance and rhetoric seems to project.

    • boatrocker

      “For many”, eh? Kind of like a blanket statement to intended to discredit?
      The same phrase could be applied to those who have been called ‘ a basket full of deplorables’ I suppose.
      Hilarious double standard- bravo!

      For many, lawful protests and dissent (and even acts of civil disobedience) resulted in things like ‘the womens’ being able to vote,
      and end to Jim Crow laws, and such.

      But keep on with puppy stories and links to weepy whiny college kids after voting for their first election.

      • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)


        Throwing moltov cocktails. shootings, trespassings, illegal fires, illegal moving of blockades, burning vehicles, etc.

        • boatrocker

          Cite your sources or else…

          The protests I referenced ala suffrage movement and Civil Rights were legal, but the altright even
          questions history books now, eh?

          And even if the lefites aren’t legal, oh well.
          We’re Still Here- get used to it.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            I was referring specifically to the Dakota pipeline protests. Everything I mentioned is documented online, plus more. Most recent was their taunting of police with a decapitated pig’s head on a pole. Lovely people…

          • boatrocker

            “867?! Sputter! But but sputter those could only be Democrats doing it and then blaming others! Soros! Alinsky! False flag!
            Because the Jewish owned press lies! Well, except for FOX news and my Facebook page tailored only to receive news from Brietbart- ok, 4chan is cool too but every other news source lies!”

            See how easy it is to disconnect from that grey matter inside one’s skull and believe the lie?

            Oh yeah, and as for the pig head, I didn’t see Snowflake raise a ruckus when one was let outside a mosque.
            Strange how selective outrage works.

  4. Tsalagi

    One thing this election proved….most Americans cannot empathize nor converse with those they disagree with.
    After exercising my rights speaking about corruption here…… It is clear only those with money have civil rights.

    • boatrocker

      Really? You’ve never heard of the Golden Rule?
      He who has the gold makes the rules, and that ideal is quite en vogue right now.

      Tryptophanophobia would be my label for those who rightfully fear/dread Thanksgiving dinner and having to listen to Uncle
      so and so complain about how lazy ‘the poors’ are and which country we should nuke come January.

  5. boatrocker

    Awwwwww helllllll yeah!

    The GOP turns on itself and implodes yet again like a pack of feral animals fighting over a rotten piece of meat.
    Chris Christie (in full view of witnesses outside of Trump Tower) taking a key to Trump’s limo.

    Cruz, Rubio, and Romney were most likely cursing themselves for being too slow to get to the limo first.

    Lemme try a new thing, LOL, Lulz, LOL, Republivandals!

    You know what? I’m really looking forward to the next 4-8 years for seeing more of this.

    Lugenpresse that.

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