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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Thursday, January 27, 2005

RMN Editor still chewing sour grapes-Post columnist still clueless

The FMN editorial page is proof that one of the editors is still chewing sour grapes. To the RMN "On Point" author, I would like to offer these familar words of advice. Get over it and move on with your life.

On Point,
January 27, 2005


In their latest flight from reality, Denver's anti- Columbus Day leaders have compared the annual parade to a rally by Nazis or the Ku Klux Klan and demanded Mayor John Hickenlooper declare the gathering unwelcome in his city. Hicken- looper has rejected this outlandish request, and no wonder. Nazis and Klan members are animated by bigotry, hatred and fear; that is the main reason people take on these identities to begin with. Intimidation is part of their historic playbook.

The history of Columbus celebrations - which came into their own in 1892 on the 400th anniversary of the explorer's arrival in the Caribbean - simply isn't burdened with the same ugly freight.

Some who pushed for a national holiday were animated by pride in Italian heritage and achievements of the immigrant community. Others saw the holiday as an opportunity to celebrate the larger accomplishments of America itself.

The parades in the decades since have continued to be affirmations of the positive - whatever Columbus himself may have said or done in a hemisphere so unenlightened at the time that cannibalism and human sacrifice were still widely practiced.

Here, Vincent Carroll once again displays his ignorance of history. He knows nothing about the history of what Columbus did to the Indigenous Peoples of Hispaniola. Columbus was personally responsible for the genocide of the Indigenous Peoples there and Carroll claims that this genocide in no way carries any sort of "freight."

Here's something to keep in mind when people like Carroll dismiss this genocide. He sees this from the vantage point of a privileged, white male who benefits from what Columbus did. Ultimately, that's where his criticism is rooted at. It's in his self interest to minimize the crimes from which he has benefitted from. The same goes for people like Ed Quillen, Bob Ewegen, Dave Harsanyi etc.

Speaking of Dave Harsanyi, he penned this column which appears in today's edition of the Denver Post.

Protesters' acquittal irresponsible
By David Harsanyi
Denver Post Staff Writer

Thursday, January 27, 2005 -

It's national No Name-Calling Week.

No joke. In observance, I will refrain from calling the jurors who acquitted leaders of a Columbus Parade protest in Denver ignoramuses.

But that's where my participation in No Name-Calling Week ends.

As for the eight acquitted leaders, they took the chance after their victory to make self-comparisons to Martin Luther King Jr. and generally revel in their imagined, lofty historical achievement.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, it was clear that these activists were plugging themselves into the wrong end of the civil rights equation.

They're the ones with contempt for the Constitution and freedomfull column

In October, Dave Harsanyi demonstrated his firm grasp of the issues by condeming Vernon Bellecourt for his role in organizing the annual protests in Denver.(In case Harsanyi is reading this-Vernon Bellecourt has never been in Denver on Columbus Day, smart guy)

Harsanyi begins his column in a way that demonstrates a classic case of psychological projection-that is, attributing his own detachment from reality onto those who blocked the Convoy of Conquest.

Joining him in this delusional world is one Dr. Dona De Sanctis.

To compare what these people have done to King is almost sacrilegious," says Dr. Dona De Sanctis, deputy executive director of the Order of the Sons of Italy. "King advocated a peaceful demonstration. He was willing to go to jail for what he believed."

So what's wrong with that quote? Well, for one thing, those that blocked the convoy were peacefully demonstrating. In fact, a jury decided that they had peacefully assembled in the street and all the police officers testified that no acts of violence had occurred on their part.

Another is that Mr Luther King Jr. went to jail in Birmingham, that much is true, but what Dr. Sona De Sanctis and David Harsanyi don't know is that he went to jail after being convicted in court of demonstrating without a permit. What that means is that he was arrested(as were we) went to trial and put on a defense(as the first 8 defender did) but then was convicted and sent to jail by a racist jury(while the first 8 defenders were acquitted). It's obvious that people like Harsanyi, Vincent Carroll, Ewegen, and De Sanctis pine for the good ol days when people of color were kept in their place.

De Sanctis continues.
"It is a miscarriage of justice," says De Sanctis. "The message this sends is that state laws and the Constitution are less important than some political agendas."

What the jury had to decide was whether or not the order given by the police was a lawful order. That's all. The jury decided that the order was not lawful because it told people to disperse-not to leave the street nor to move to the side. The prosecution also couldn't prove that the order had been audible to all of the people in the street. The defenders begin with the presumption of innocence and the prosecution must prove it's case beyond a resonable doubt. Reasonable doubt existed and, thus, the defenders were acquitted. Pretty simple and easy to accept unless you are an angry, privileged, white guy who wants to recreate a history in which African American Peoples were slaves and Indigenous Peoples were exterminated.

As is his trademark, Harsanyi continues to throw out his opinions without any supporting arguments or proof of what he says, such as in the following.
Even if you oppose the celebration, the idea that the marchers were inciting genocide or intimidating someone with hate speech is preposterous.

So why is it preposterous? Well, Harsanyi never explains. I presume it's preposterous simply because Harsanyi says it is. That's the beauty of living in the world of ignorance that people the Harsanyis, Vincent Carrolls, Bob Ewegens and Ed Quillens of the world inhabitate. You don't have to know the issues, you don't have to be present at the trials, you don't have to understand the legal arguments put forward by the defense attorneys and you dont have to understand the history of this country. They can still hold forth and be taken seriously by people are frighteningly even more detached from reality, and ignorant, than they are.


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