Civics Lesson

Who remembers Civics? It is the study of the rights and duties of citizenship.

On the news site, The Hill, today I found an article by John Bowden titled Activists say California city removed ‘Black Lives Matter’ street painting after request for ‘MAGA 2020’ mural.   The BLM sign was painted with the approval of the Redwood City officials who last week decided to quietly remove the yellow-painted words “Black Lives Matter” from Redwood City’s Broadway, a stretch of boulevard leading through the city’s downtown area.  The activists responsible for the painting of the BLM sign complained that it was removed because someone else had filed a request to post a pro-Trump sign.

In objecting to the removal of the BLM sign, a supporter of the movement said, Black Lives Matter is not a political statement. Black Lives Matter is a human rights issue, it’s a call, it’s a message, it’s a symbol.  But there are those who would make the same claims for MAGA 2020.  In fact, the local attorney, Maria Rutenburg, who filed the request for a “MAGA 2020” mural to be painted nearby stated that her speech was “just as important as BLM.”   I’m a Trump supporter and the slogan is important to me,” she said, arguing that the Black Lives Matter painting turned the street into “a public forum.”

Civics lesson:  Free speech is a two-way street whether you like what the other is saying or not.

Unfortunately, the statement by Redwood City officials In responding to the complaints missed an opportunity to offer this Civics Lesson to their constituency.  City officials contended … that the painting’s removal was not related to Rutenburg’s request.  “Staff is concerned about public safety issues that may arise from painting murals on its public streets, which could result in driver confusion and traffic accidents,” said a Redwood City spokesperson. “Thus, the existing mural has been removed from Broadway.  Sorry. That’s bullshit.  In my Civics class a thousand years ago, I heard something about our leaders telling the truth.  Maybe I’m just old fashioned.

So you may wonder where my sympathies lie.   I am in full support of the BLM movement except when it slips into looting, destruction of property and violence.   And I think that Donald Trump is the worst thing that has ever happened to my country, so if you want to MAGA in 2020, vote him out.   But above both, I believe that free speech is what makes this country special.  I think that too many of us conveniently forget that in the pursuit of our own beliefs.

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One Comment on “Civics Lesson”

  1. barrythewiz Says:

    Well OE we’ve talked about this enough that you know I’m right there with you. You can’t have it both ways.

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