Throughout this last year and more recently on January 6, 2021, we have seen pictures and alerts flood across our phones and T.V. screens of violent riots, destruction, looting and now our nation’s capitol being overrun. While protest and disagreements are at the very heart of the right to free speech and assembly, what we saw on January 6, 2021 and this past year were not an exercise of this sacred right.
In fact, if anything, the violent attacks on our cities, business and the capitol building only served to threaten and devalue one of America’s greatest and most unique freedoms – the freedom of speech and assembly. Indeed, without this, America’s progress toward justice, equality, and a voice for all people would not have been possible.
How can we demonstrate to the world that American freedom and democracy is a goal to be achieved when such freedom, arguably, permitted unabated attacks on our country? The answer is: we cannot; we cannot unless we prove to ourselves, our country, and the world that violence and destruction is simply wrong.
Regardless of your political viewpoint, let us come together as a nation by exercising our Constitutional rights in a peaceful manner. A rally in Southern California, similar to the one in Washington D.C., did not have the same violent outcome. We can exercise our freedoms and have disagreements with others without violence. Our ultimate hope for this beloved country is unity.