Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fifty Years Later...

For those of you who think that institutional racism is dead and that only fringe lunatics espouse these beliefs, I give you this story from Maine.

David Marsters is a retired Massachusetts police officer, and a former member of the Navy and National Guard He and his wife moved to Maine upon retirement because he and his wife couldn't afford to live in Massachusetts on their pensions.

He was elected as a Town Selectman in Sabattus, Maine, and is currently running for reelection. During his last term, he proposed a town ordinance requiring all town residents to own a gun.

There are many conservatives who probably agree with his public stated beliefs, until he recently crossed the line with a bigoted attack on President Obama.

He recently posted a picture of President Obama on his Facebook page with the caption: "Shoot the N-----."

When asked to clarify his remarks, he said:
"I think it's a lot of hogwash," Marsters said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "I did not threaten the president. ... I might have used the wrong words. ... I didn't say I was going to do it."

He said his post was taken out of context.

"What I really meant to say is, 'When are we going to get rid of this (expletive),'" he said. "I should have said, 'I hope the bastard dies.'"
Now they will denounce him as a fringe lunatic, who doesn't represent true conservatism.

Instead of complaining that all conservatives are demonized as racists, at some point the conservative movement in this country must ask themselves why so many of their political allies advocate violence and bigotry against minorities, and specifically, President Obama.

Then they have to work to fight that bigotry. That's the message of Dr. King, espoused in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail:
"In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action."
It's time to have that conversation.

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