Fascism: a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce etc., and emphasizing aggressive nationalism and often racism (www.thedictonary.com).
Though it may surprise many of my friends, this is the first letter of this kind that I have ever written. Many events transpire in our society that give me pause, but I have always chosen other avenues to express my dismay and/or outrage. At this moment, however, I feel compelled to make my voice heard through this particular medium and to stand in solidarity and support with members of our community who have been wronged.
I was appalled to learn about what transpired against the Kuhn family on July 25 [“Flag Fight,” Aug. 1 Xpress]. If an ordinary citizen had been responsible for these atrocious acts, they would have been arrested. As it happens, the “perp” appears to have been an officer of the law. And as happens time and time again, the officer in question is apparently attempting to lie—in the face of witnesses—to avoid censure or punishment. Deputy Scarborough should be ashamed. If [he] truly believed in the ideals of the country that this flag represents (freedom of speech, freedom of dissent—you know, the Constitution!), he would turn in his badge and offer his sincerest apologies to the Kuhns and his community. If he has perpetrated this alleged crime against his fellow citizens, whom he is sworn to protect, he would realize this goes against everything we say our country stands for.
I can’t help but wonder what punishment, if any, will be meted out to someone who is allowed to carry a gun and decide, on his own, who is acting appropriately and who is not. I think this man should, at the very least, be suspended without pay until a full investigation is conducted. And apparently, at the time of the Xpress article—a full week after the incident—the officer in question is still free to impose his particular beliefs on other unsuspecting citizens.
I call on all residents of Buncombe County and all readers of this paper to stand up against this despicable violation of our neighbors’ civil rights.
Write letters to this and other (local and national) publications; call the office of the sheriff and demand justice; raise your own flag in distress. The moment that a community sides with the state and with oppression—actively or with silence—instead of standing by their neighbors, all is lost.
To paraphrase Mr. Kuhn, it’s time to wake up, Buncombe County.
— Sean McNeal