Does anybody in America truly want to repeat another horrific Charlottesville?
I hope the answer is no but it seems there are different groups lusting for more of Charlottesville. Three people were killed and many others injured in a display of civil warfare reminiscent of what I used to watch on the evening news back in the 60's.
Are there hate groups in America? Yes. Is there racism in America? Yes. Is the solution to hate and racism violence? No. Hurting one another, cursing each other, violating each other and trying to kill each other comes from the basest and most depraved human beings.
Where is the common sense of what happened in Charlottesville? There was no common sense.
How do we avoid another Charlottesville?
Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of violence. Every group that protests in any community in the United States should first gain a permit from the local county or city government for a day and length of time with an exact location to hold the march or protest. The protest must be civil. There is no need for guns at a march or at rally to speak. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to start shooting off guns.
Next, the group should be required to put up a deposit of cash. It takes money to clean up a town after hundreds or thousands of people have dropped their cigarette butts and pop cans everywhere. Part of the cash deposit should be refundable if the group marches orderly and leaves the community orderly.
Tell all the local people that the protestors are coming and to leave town or find something else to do. In other words ignore them. The best way to kill anything is indifference. Indifference has been killing churches and marriages for many years now.
Forbid another group to protest at the same time. Civil freedom of speech should mean I get a turn and then you get a turn. However national cable TV news and presidential debates have proven that there is little civility and manners in our nation anymore. People start talking and then opponents begin yelling trying to drown them out. Any group that has a permit to march and speak about their cause should have a chance to say what they want to say. When they are finished the opposing group should pay their fee to march and have their say about the issue.
Yelling at each other and throwing things and driving cars into crowds gains nothing but death, more hatred and more violence.
A date and time set by the city and county gives local and state police the opportunity to organize in such a way to save lives. An event such as Charlottesville requires hundreds of state police people and maybe even the National Guard. Yes, this is tragic.
When a group marched in Pikeville, Ky., last April 29 no one was killed. Lots of words were hurled by the opposing groups but the community and the police kept the order. The groups came, the police made convincing barricades and lives were sparred. The Pikeville commissioners notably disallowed either of the groups to wear hoods or masks in their protesting. This is another good move that all city and county governments need to enforce in the future.
When groups interrupt and act violently toward those speaking they should be hauled off to jail until somebody pays their fine to get them out.
I was in the St. Louis airport the other day and there is a Freedom of Speech stand in the airport. People can stand at that location and give a speech. Nobody was giving one while I was there. Every community should protect freedom of speech. No one speaking and conducting him or herself in a civil manner should have to fear being assaulted or run over by a car. Those speaking should never be threatening to anyone physically nor should listeners be allowed to threaten the speaker. Where or how does violence resolve any issue? Unless of course people want another Civil War where hundreds of thousands of people were killed in order to get the point across. Is this what we want in America? Surely we do not want to go backwards to such a brutal and archaic time in our history?
Violence will only provoke more violence and more hatred. We are a multicultural society. All colors and backgrounds live in America. The solution to our success is to quit biting and fighting each other and work together. Or, have we become just too barbaric?
Glenn Mollette is a syndicated columnist and author of 12 books. He is read in all 50 states.