Look out, Beaver County

October 20, 2011

The wayward desert dweller strikes again. Well, we’ll see if this one gets printed…

So today I was reading the old local paper, the Beaver County Times, and I happen upon this letter. I haven’t been particularly inspired to jump on the Occupy Wall Street bandwagon at Daily Kos; there are dozens of posters already, it feels like overkill there. But if someone back home in PA is going to throw around blanket condemnations, I guess that’s worth a shot.

The protestors in New York have turned to violence: throwing bottles and other objects at police officers, resulting in several arrests. Their actions have been completely uncalled for and have little to do with practicing their freedom of speech. If it is attention they are looking for, they have already achieved that.

So after reading this and more, I doubt the writer had a truly hostile agenda; could just be a Fox News consumer.  🙂  My response may come off as a bit strident. It’s intended to be, though not really directed at her.

Just in case the Times editorialists get so much material that they don’t bother with mine, here it is.

In response to the October 20 letter “Violence off message,” yes, it is. By making a blanket statement like “The protestors in New York have turned to violence,” however, Shaila Whitla does a disservice to their cause and hers. It is unreasonable to take several arrests as example to brand thousands as violent.

It’s difficult to find a balanced perspective from any one news source, when the media seek drama and controversy. There may be sympathetic portrayals, and then there are ones like the letter writer’s. Better to trust what facts, if any, can be found. What would thousands of violent protesters look like? Perhaps a riot? Is that what’s happening on Wall Street? Or is that just what it looks like on the news?

Unfortunately, there are no quick, simple answers for the protesters. Our government, our means of ‘coming together,’ is at best dysfunctional. And when the will of the entire nation is stymied by a single faction of obstructionist Republicans in Congress, they should hear about it, in the most strident manner permitted. They have sown the wind.

They usually have enough room for letters from the crazed southwest.


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