Opinion by Steve SloanAs we enter a period of public protest, and counter protest, both sides need to both show restraint not to let tempers get to them and to be committed to non-violence. Protest is not disloyalty. Protest is part of the process of American democracy. That is why our constitution includes a bill of rights. Take the right to peacefully assemble and protest away and you have killed everything this country stands for. For America to be America the right of citizens to protest has to remain and be respected – by both sides.
First Amendment to the United States Constitution - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
This is far from over! There are going to be a lot of protests ahead. There already has been violence and hate speech on both sides. If we do not condemn hate speech and violence on BOTH sides there is a real danger that this could evolve from passionate conversation to civil war.
One trend I have been seeing is a process of dehumanizing those we disagree with on these issues. An example of this is rampant name calling. There are bullies on both sides. That does not mean everyone from one side or the other are bullies. If you look at history, when people dehumanize the people they disagree with, the outcome often is not pretty.