Apparently the grass in Central Park is more important than the First Amendment. Christ. At least come up with a semi-believeable excuse. Like safety, or not enough security available, or some minor technicality about not filing the right permit. But the grass? The fucking grass?!
I’m not even going to waste words on this. I could. I could write something nice and long about the importance of freedom of speech and what this decision could mean in the long-term, precedent-wise and all. But I won’t, because we already know that the Republicans are essentially proto-Fascists and that they’ll do anything that they can to stay in power. It’s difficult to gauge this without being in the States, but WHY AREN’T MORE PEOPLE ACTIVELY DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THIS? Does it have to come down to this?
First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me. –Pastor Martin Niemöller
Are people really that self-involved that they just don’t care? Or are they really that ignorant and can’t just connect the dots? I guess fear really is the key to this election. There’ll be a flurry of alerts as we head towards November. Maybe they’ll ‘find’ Osama bin Laden (who, I’m convinced, they have already or know where to get him and can get him easily). There’ll be an attack or two foiled in September and October. Maybe one will succeed in mid- to late-October. Then Bush can speak to the people and talk about how important strong leadership is in the ‘war on terror’. The press will spin it just right, exactly as Bush expects them to. And then we’ll have four more years of this, which will leave the world on the brink of destruction, if not actually destroy it.
Bleak, yes. Cynical, perhaps. But I don’t like to wake up to news that the grass in Central Park is more important than the Constitution. When I was in middle school, my social studies teacher gave us all little pocket-sized copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He encouraged us to read them, to try and understand what it all meant and to ask questions to help us to understand what we didn’t. He also encouraged us to carry them around with us. Just in case we ever needed them. I did, of course, because I was just that kind of kid. I still have great respect for the documents. I have some reservations about them, but they’ve proved quite well-constructed over the years. The point is that I was taught to understand and appreciate my rights as guaranteed by the laws. And to be told that grass is more important than my First Amendment rights is an affront to every citizen of the US. It’s an affront to the framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, who are held is such high esteem. And it’s an affront to everyone who sees the United States as a shining beacon of hope, as that ideal city on the hill (to borrow Reagan’s rhetoric). I might question the appropriateness of seeing the US this way and also just how many people are looking towards the US with those kind of ideals, but that’s another post. We’ll leave it at that for now.
To say that this move is not politically motivated is disgusting. I hope that this only hardens the resolve of the protesters even more. And–although I would also find this disgusting–if the grass is that damned important, I’m sure the City of New York could ask really nicely and that some of the protesters would be willing to give donation to help repair the grass. It’s just a thought.
To my blog-readers in NYC: what’s it like on the ground?