I’m writing in response to the July 1st story “Monuments Vandalized.” The story calls the defacing of graves and monuments in Mount Olivet cemetery “the latest incident of racially-based vandalism in the city.”

Racially-based vandalism? No, the vandalism that preceded was straight up racist, white supremacist vitriol. Even though your publication wouldn’t print the actual words, we all know what “racial slurs and offensive symbols” were likely used.

On the other hand, what occurred at Mount Olivet was vandalism — and for the record, I don’t agree with what was done, but I can understand it. The first incident was racist. The Mount Olivet incident was done in protest and its message advocates for Black people's lives being of equal value in this country.

The first incident advocates for white power and the subjugation or eradication of non-whites. The Mount Olivet incident is simply asking us to value and respect Black lives under the law and in every day life. The acts are the same but the motivation behind the act is radically different.

To equivocate the two by linking both as “racially-based” is not only inaccurate, but also harmful. Call racist graffiti what it is. Call protest vandalism what it is. It seems to me we’ve lost the ability in this country to see complexity and attempt to understand it and hold several ideas in our heads at one time. I also found the final quote in your story interesting, “The people that did this don’t want a history lesson.”

It’s hard to tell what the intent behind this quote is. This quote symbolizes the tricky nature of language. Was he saying the protesters are ignorant of history, or that he feels the protesters know their history and giving them a lesson would therefore be below them and useless? Who knows. Here’s how I interpreted that quote in the context of your story: I think the people that vandalized Mount Olivet gave all of us an important history lesson; it’s just a harsher, more accurate lesson many people simply still don’t want to hear. Words matter.

(12) comments

Dwasserba

This was brave. But cemeteries are sacred. Death is the great equalizer. If their was pain, it's over for the victim when the pain just begins for the survivors. We acknowlege pain. We know that eventually we will know this pain, and it will be respected. It's an unspoken agreement with all strangers everywhere to leave our dead in peace and not blame them anymore for shortcomings and errors in judgment. Sacred.

bosco

"The Mount Olivet incident is simply asking us to value and respect Black lives under the law and in every day life".......heck of a way to ask for something. I suppose burning and looting stores was just asking for some early holiday shopping bargains.[lol] What is Black on Black shootings asking for? [crying] What is occupying several square blocks of Seattle and turning it into a graffiti-filled lawless homeless encampment asking for?[unsure]

Yep, one heck of a way to ask. [ninja]

awteam2000

The far majority of protesters we’re not destructive, if anything the instructive 8,000 protesters (mostly white) that marched in Frederick, were not looting, vandalism, or destroying private property but expressing their recognition of systemic injustice. That’s true across the world.

Not a fan of vandalism or destroying private property but it’s seem to have gotten corporate attention. Major corporations are now lobbying the federal government to pass a “police reform act” before they recess in September. Maybe murdering someone for a bad $20 bill or shooting someone for falling asleep 😴 isn’t worth the loss in looting, destruction of businesses, and social unrest.

phydeaux994

bosco, have you heard the story about the man who bought a mule from a farmer who said “this mule will work hard for you all day long every day”. A few days later the man brings the mule back complaining “this is the laziest mule I ever saw, won’t work a lick”. So the farmer walks over and picks up a 2”x4”, walks back and hits the mule hard over the head and says “oh, he’ll work hard for you but you gotta get his attention first”. The protesters got YOUR attention didn’t they??

bosco

Heard that story. It's a good one. The looters certainly got my attention, as have the almost all-white anarchists pulling down statues and establishing the CHOP and CHAZ zones. The anarchists have usurped the BLM movement and pushed it to the balcony. White privilege taking over the Black protest. Same old story. Sad that the needed conversation is getting lost.

Enjoy your Independence Day celebration in whatever works for you.

[ninja]

awteam2000

To start a conversation... What do you think is the needed conversation?

phydeaux994

White anarchists were not present as an identifiable group according to the MPD. But the Boogaloo Bois were, in their Hawaiian shirts and shock troop costumes on, armed with baseball bats. They operated after dark, when the BLM people had gone home for the day. The needed conversation is waiting for the RRR(RadicalRightRepublicans) to come and sit at the other side of the table.

And you enjoy your Bosco Manor gathering also.

Blueline

Sorry Mr. Surdez, you don't get to be the final arbiter on what behavior is offensive and what behavior is understandable. You are going down a slippery slope. Suppose someone doesn't like your writings and decides to destroy your home. Can we then excuse the act by saying that I might not agree, but I understand why someone might act that way?

sevenstones1000

Way to miss the total point, blue line.

Dwasserba

Maybe. But it's hard to see past vandalizing a private cemetery if you have any dead relatives or friends.

awteam2000

Blueline, you disagree with one expressing one’s views as disagreeable not the final arbitrator? Isn’t the first amendment ‘Freedom of speech‘?

Why was that the first amendment? Maybe because ‘Speech’ was the most slippery slop.

Hasn’t it always been? What pushed Booth over the top? To murder Lincoln. Wasn’t leaders like Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Robert F Kennedy and others demise came through speech, expressing their social views, expressing their 1st amendment right. Your response today is to advocate a similar reaction? Threatening those expressing opposing your views.

Can’t you articulate an objective opposition to his opinion? Where’s the flaw? You don’t like it?🤦‍♂️

Blueline

The flaw is in the logic, or in this case the lack thereof. The author assumes to know the motivation behind both acts. I suppose there could be a minute chance of this, but it's highly likely he actually doesn't. He also states that the acts are the same, but that for one to equivocate the two is harmful. He claims that the first act calls for the eradication of non-whites, while the second is "protest vandalism." Again, highly illogical and based solely on assumptions. As for the First Amendment, I can't see that connection to either the authors letter, or your take.

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