Our America

My America, your America, is an indivisible nation with liberty and justice for all.

I am moved at the start of every legislative session when I repledge allegiance to our flag and the republic for which it stands. When I became a legislator, I swore an oath to support the constitution of the United States, which protects the life, liberty and property of every person.

The provocative invasion of Charlottesville by torch-carrying racists declaring that America belongs to whites was un-American and ugly.

Tragically, it escalated into violence that killed one American and led further to the deaths of two police officers who had to deploy to helicopters to oversee the riot.

What should we do?

First, we shouldn’t miss any opportunity to remember and to recall publicly what this country is about – what Americans have fought for, spilling blood from Concord to Gettysburg and across the world: The self-evident truth that we are all created equal, endowed with certain unalienable rights, among these life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It has taken a couple of centuries for the full meaning of that truth to sink in, but it is the founding truth of our country and what we have all pledged allegiance to many times.

I can tell you that the bipartisan political leadership of the Commonwealth is united in its allegiance to that truth.

Second, we should express our love and sympathy to the people of Charlottesville who have seen their beautiful city desecrated by violence.

Third, we should remember and take comfort that very few Americans embrace white supremacist views. Yes, a great many people voted for a President who doesn’t really want to disengage from white supremacists. Yes, we all have our conscious and unconscious biases. But most Americans pledge allegiance to our indivisible republic and mean it.

More than that, we should remember that most humans everywhere want nothing more than peace. A few years ago, I rode a bicycle across the country. Mostly alone, I was vulnerable and occasionally in need and I met a lot of people who were very kind to me, although many of them had worldviews very different from mine. And I have knocked on a lot of doors in the neighborhoods of my district and spent a lot of time listening to people. While again, many have different views, most people are kind and tolerant.

Tactically and locally, what should we do?

We should make clear that we do not welcome a hateful message – the Mayor and Governor have already been very clear about that.

Yet, if a small, sick minority of people wish to march under a white supremacist neo-Nazi banner they have a right under our constitution to do so and we should make sure that their event does not escalate into violence. The Boston Police, backed up by the State Police, are very prepared to do that.

Over the days to come, as citizens, we should participate in peaceful rallies and vigils expressing our commitment to American values – liberty and justice for all. It is likely that this weekend, there will be rallies in Boston.

Plans are forming to channel a positive, American rally on Saturday to a location separate from the possible supremacist rally. We should not be giving that un-American brush fire the oxygen of attention.

People seeking to know the safe places in Boston to go march or congregate for American values this weekend should visit bpdnews.com for the most up to date information or follow @marty_walsh and @bostonpolice on Twitter.

Joint Resolution and Proclamation adopted by the House, the Senate and the Governor of Massachusetts, August 17, 2017

ADDRESSING NEO-NAZI AND WHITE NATIONALIST HATE ORGANIZATIONS

WHEREAS, white nationalist organizations in our country have consistently promoted values that are overtly racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant, and these poisonous ideologies continue to promote hatred, bigotry, and violence specifically against individuals solely on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and immigration status; and

WHEREAS, today, white nationalism and neo-Nazism remain very real threats to the values for which the Commonwealth stands, and their reinvention as the “Alt-Right,” should not mitigate their hateful ideologies; and

WHEREAS, while free speech is a bedrock value for the citizens in our Commonwealth and Country, white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups promote a message that is the antithesis of Massachusetts’ dedication to civil rights for all, and is in irreconcilable conflict with our foundational principles of liberty and justice for all; and

WHEREAS, white nationalism and neo-Nazism are continuing to grow as menaces to societal order as they seek to reignite social animosities, reverse improvements in race relations, divide the nation, and foment hatred, classism, and ethnic eradication; and

WHEREAS, the white nationalist and neo-Nazi message of racial and social intolerance has led to senseless acts of violence that continue to terrorize members of ethnic and religious communities; Now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that we strongly denounce and oppose the totalitarian impulses, violence, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that are promoted by white nationalists and neo-Nazis; and be it further

RESOLVED, that we urge law enforcement agencies and elected officials at every level of government to condemn white nationalist and neo-Nazi ideology, to vigorously pursue justice in response to hate-fueled violence and work to ensure the protection of the marginalized and targeted communities.

RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Mayor of Charlottesville, Governor of Virginia and President of the United States.

Information from Mayor Walsh and BPD Advisory re Events on Saturday, August 19

“Free Speech” Rally at the Boston Common: 20-100 participants expected

-The rally has been permitted to take place between 12:00-2:00pm.
-The rally will be located at the Bandstand on Boston Common.
-The area of the rally will be barricaded with steel barriers and monitored by police officers.
-Banned items for demonstrators on both sides: bats, sticks, and backpacks.
-Police will have a “zero-tolerance policy” for any actions deemed dangerous and will result in removal from the event.

Counter Protest March and Rally: 1-5000 or more participants expected

-The march will begin at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury. The gathering begins at 10:00am and the procession should depart around 11:00am.
-The march will proceed down Tremont Street and onto Charles Street where participants will enter Boston Common through the gate on Charles Street (where Boston Common Parking Garage is.)
-BPD will guide the route with motorcycles, cars, bicycle units, and Officers on foot. The vehicles will block cross streets while participants march through.
-The participants of the march will then rally in the large open area to the left of where they enter (Corner of Beacon and Charles.)
-Banned items for demonstrators on both sides: bats, sticks, and backpacks.
-Police will have a “zero-tolerance policy” for any actions deemed dangerous and will result in removal from the event.

BPD Community Advisory for Events Scheduled for Saturday, August 19, 2017 on the Boston Common

On Saturday, August 19, 2017, the Boston Police Department anticipates large crowds to gather in the Boston Common and participate in a march along a predetermined route beginning at the Reggie Lewis Center and ending in the Boston Common. The Department has been and continues to be in contact with event organizers from several groups and is working with them to ensure a safe and peaceful day. The Department has a comprehensive operational plan in place. While details of the plan are not for public release, people can expect a large police presence of both uniformed and undercover officers. The Department will be deploying fixed video cameras and mobile video support teams to assist with keeping the event safe for all who attend.

Parking in and around the Boston Common will be prohibited. Signs have been posted, “No Stopping Boston Police Special Event” on effected roadways. Due to increased public safety concerns, if you plan on visiting the Boston Common on Saturday August 19, 2017 it is strongly recommended that you do not bring backpacks, large bags or strollers. If you do choose to bring these items, they may be subject to search and there will be no storage area designated to leave your belongings.In order to provide a safe and peaceful environment, the Boston Police Department has determined certain items be prohibited from the Boston Common.

Please see the list of prohibited items below:
• Firearms, knives, weapons, sharp objects, shields or fireworks
• Pop up tents or canopies
• Cans, glass containers, pre-mixed beverages or alcoholic beverages
• Wagons or pull carts
• Coolers
• Drones
• Pets (excluding certified service animals)
• Grills, propane tanks or open flames
• Bicycles
• Flag poles, bats, clubs, sticks (including signs attached to sticks)
• Any athletic equipment or other item which could be used as a weapon

The Boston Police Department expects all who will be attending events on the Boston Common to act respectfully and responsibly. The Department intends to provide a safe and peaceful opportunity for people to exercise their Constitutional rights. Violence or property damage of any kind will not be tolerated. Anyone engaging in illegal behavior is subject to arrest and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.

See also Globe Story here.

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

121 replies on “Our America”

  1. Thanks so much for reaching out on this. Great advice and a very nicely worded resolution! We’ll all need to be vigilant about our rejection of hate speech as well as tolerant towards others in the days ahead.

  2. This Resolution and Proclamation makes me proud to be a citizen and resident of Massachusetts.

    And it ought to be sent to the Governors of the States, and also to newspapers and television stations.

  3. Diversity is wonderful and it is what makes the world interesting and exciting as we share views and cultures. There is no room in the world for the hatred of the white nationalist and neo-Nazi ideology. This is all about violence and hatred and it saddens me to think that such people even exist in these times. I feel like we are going back in time and it is very, very scary.

  4. We are all equal. Free speech alas means taking responsibility for what, how and why we speak.There was no room for hatred of other people or ideas that are different than our own. Thank you for standing up for our core human values and against the extreme views of
    people who have learned hate in its worst form

  5. Thank you and the State of Massachusetts for standing up against the rise of racism & Nazism in our country.

  6. Thank you for taking a stand against neo-nazism, white nationalism, and hatred!

  7. Thanks for condemning white supremacy, I was worried for second. I think I saw on the news, some guy in Spain ran over a bunch of people with his van. Can you publicly condemn running people over with your car. Thanks

    1. Rocky, no joke. The point is this:

      We have a uniformed, organized brigade of neo-nazi’s marching into Charlottesville chanting slogans that go back to the liquidation of the Jews of Europe.

      We have a president who says there are “good people” among them.

      There are surely needy, sick humans among them, who, with some rehabilitation, perhaps, can be reformed and forgiven, but to call them “good people” is very poor moral leadership.

      Leadership matters. When you have a president who fails to consistently disapprove of them, other leaders need to stand up.

  8. Glad to read such a condemnation! It’s a beginning. But dare I say, now what?
    I’m so tired of having to attend silent vigils. I’m tired to have to listen to racists, bigots, the KKK and neo-Nazis spew their hatred in the name of free speech. Being tolerant means allowing people to worship their god in whatever way they choose, to allow them to walk the earth in whatever color they were born into, to engage in meaningful discussion to further the understanding of ideas and methodologies and ideologies. It does not mean being silent in the face of hateful speech and actions.

    What we need is to stand by AND STAND UP FOR our brothers and sisters of color, who worship a god whose name is different than your god, who openly identify as non heterosexual and who are peaceful and respectful.

    It not enough to attend the silent vigils and then go home to warm and comfy homes to watch a movie.

    We have be the change every day. We have to not tolerate but call out our family members and friends for these hateful behaviors. And whats more we have to talk to them and try to understand these motivations and through our own resolve and measured discussions work hard to convince them that their hate is misguided, etc.

  9. Thank you to the leadership in Massachusetts- we are so lucky to live in this state and have representation that believes in the constitution and justice and liberty for all.
    How sad we in 2017 have the presence of white nationalism and neo-Nazi ideology – that is growing and that is increasing violence in our communities and threatening the lives of those who are in the minority. WE all need to make our voices heard and support those who are targeted. Praying that tomorrow is peaceful. Ann Capoccia

    1. Presence that is growing?

      Look at the projections.

      20-100 participants? But 5,000 counter protesters?

      My whole life we have done nothing but ignore these idiots, and my whole life the number of KKK members and neo Nazis has fallen like a rock.

      You might want to watch what Tina Fey had to say on SNL.

  10. We are all a target of these hateful violent voices. Thanks to the political leaders of the Commonwealth for a clear, forceful statement in opposition to this ugly cancer on today’s body politic.

  11. Support the U.S. Constitution that everyone counts and has rights. Keep
    America STRONG.

  12. Perfect! Boston and State Officials are doing their utmost to ensure maximum security even as they guarantee the sacred right of free speech without malevolence. Yeah! I am proud of this town and state. We are where this wonderful nation began, and we stand proudly to defend and affirm all its magnificent principles. We cannot be allowed, especially in these precarious times, to slip into the deep dark abyss of prejudice and retro ‘thinking’. Onward and upward.

    NJK

  13. How come not a word about black lives matter killing cops or antifa violence seems like they are the ones doing all the damage and violence … But not a word …

    1. Q. The anonymous “G” asks for evidence that peaceful protestors of Black Lives Matter were violent.

      A. For centuries, the fascists — KKK, Nazis, white nationalists, white supremacists — vowed to use violence to buy, sell, own, and enslave other human beings. They still vow it today. This violence has been repeatedly video-graphed by hundreds of observers, participants, journalists, and public safety officers.

      But the violence that the fascists claim happens to them never arises. They only imagine it, which is why they have no footage of it.

      The reason no one talks about anti-fascist protesters committing violence upon fascists is because it doesn’t occur: no evidence, nothing to talk about.

  14. We pray for the safety of all, in this exercise of free speech on the one hand, and moral outrage at the atrocities of Fascism’s historic and present violence and inhumanity on the other. May peace prevail, and racism abate.

  15. Not Charlottesville or Baltimore (“Give them space to destroy…”); Let the police do their job (and I thank them for the risks they constantly take on our behalf!). Let those who think this is an MMA opportunity to do damage to their fellow human beings be arrested and prosecuted. This sounds like a good plan.

  16. Thanks, Will, for making this information available in a clear form; and thanks to the BPD for its careful planning that we all hope will provide a peaceful opportunity for public expression of constitutional rights without hate language.

  17. Free Speech should rule. What you like, I may not like, but you have the right to say it.

    The MSM (Main Stream Media) continues to give subjective reporting instead of being a “neutral party” and give the facts for us to decide. Otherwise it is slanted “propaganda”. The Media lumped the “Unite The Right” group that was trying to save the Robert E. Lee statue with the KKK and White Supremacist groups.

    The right wing group went thru the system to get a permit for a rally and was repeatedly denied. They finally won in court and the judge granted an injunction for the rally to proceed. The police gave the ground rules that gave a route with security barriers and that no masks would be tolerated.

    The left groups, ANTIFA and BLM NEVER applied for a rally and thus held an illegal gathering. They wore masks threw balloons filled with urine, feces, paint and chemicals. One of Katie Couric’s news crews were sprayed with urine.

    The ANTIFA and BLM also carried bats & sticks, lobbed smoke canisters, pepper sprayed people and threw rocks, bricks and cement-filled bottles. There is a picture of a Black man using an aerosol can as a fire torch against members of the right. All this while the police were ordered to “stand down” !

    How could such “lawlessness” be tolerated ? A “State of Emergency” was announced and the rally was canceled even before anything even happened ! The police actually made these Rightist groups exit into the den of the Leftist Groups! The police were actually laughing at Rightist getting sprayed in the face by mace from the Leftists. This was an “ambush” and meant to punish any dissenters that the local politicians don’t agree with.

    One of the far right speakers that goes by the name “Baked Alaska” was just walking on his way to the rally when he was sprayed in the face with what he thought was “mace”. It turned out to be “acid” like the Muslims are using in London. He may lose his sight.

    There are reports out there that James Alex Fields Jr. was chased by Leftist just trying to get to his car to leave. He asked police for help and got none. Evidence has emerged, that before plowing into the crowd, murder suspect Field’s car had been repeatedly attacked by bat-wielding rioters and he only accelerated when his car was hit by a brick. For sure, after he had the collision, his car is seen being attacked by people with bats & sticks. There are pictures of THAT ! That’s why he sped off in reverse at high rate of speed.

    Others have reported that he had mental problems, but that is NO excuse ! That poor woman died and I think 19 injured. While pedestrians were trying to help the injured, people kept repeating “Where are the police ?” “Where are the ambulances ?”

    This against the fault of the politicians when the rules flow downhill. They make STUPID decisions that endanger people’s safety. The only ones to suffer are the ordinary citizens. Now comes the blame game where the politicans will disavow any culpability and place blame on the lowest man on the totem pole.

    I hate the KKK and I dislike the White Supremacist groups, but if they went thru a process to get a permit to march and the courts ruled in the affirmative, that’s the price of a free society.

    Just like when the Gay Irish went thru the legal system to be able to be part of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I don’t understand it, but the courts rules against them ?

    Years ago, the KKK were refused the right to march through Skokie, Illinois. They took their case with the help of the ACLU, represented by a Jewish lawyer Burton Joseph of the firm Joseph, Lichtenstein & Levinson went all the way to the Supreme Court and won ! When a Jewish lawyer can defend the KKK proves that Freedom of Speech rules. I didn’t like it, but that is the freedom we have in this country. BTW, they ended up changing their plans and marched in Chicago and I’m sure the police protected their safety.

    The Governor of VA, the Mayor and the Vice Mayor of Charlottesville are all playing partisan politics and are skirting the rule of law. The politicians will “pander” to fringe groups and whatever the “PC du jour” of the day is. And you thought that all the toxic politics was in Congress.

    Then Governor McAuliffe went on the radio and lied according to the State Police.
    “Virginia State Police called Governor Terry Mcauliffe ‘A Lying Democrat'”…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wB0ZxytRd0

    This is sickening in a Democratic Society.

    I’m afraid that Donald Trump was being “honest” when he spoke about Charlottesville, even though he is taking HEAT for it. Everyone else is running for cover to be “politically correct” even though the facts don’t support it.

    Why can’t people have a debate with words instead of fists ?

    One reason is that certain radical groups won’t even allow debates to take place. When factional minority groups can make the rules for all of us and the politicians “pander” to them, this is not Democracy.

    Our country is on a downhill slide folks.

  18. I think a man from the North of us can bundle up the whole story of Charlottesville and put it one rational presenation.

    His name is Stephan Molyneaux from Canada. He is a kind of philosopher, raconteur, high tech entrepreneur and runs Freedom Main Radio.

    He gives the background story and behind the scenes story. He is very thorough with facts and footnotes all his facts. He preaches non-violence. I think if you have 20+ minutes to listen, it is definitely worthwhile and eyeopening.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjg3joKXfqc&t=15s

  19. Thank you, Senator Brownsberger, for your comments and for the Joint Resolution.

    Since Charlottesville, this presidency has moved the knob from “Really Distressing” to “Downright Ominous.” This man is destroying the U.S. and our citizenship in the enlightened sector of the international community. Can state governments demand Trump’s resignation. Joint Resolutions are not enough at this point.
    yvonne

  20. The event has been set up to fail. Why schedule two opposing viewpoints at the same time and same place. We will see this on the news as how Boston is racist.

  21. You wrote: “….many have different views, most people are kind and tolerant….”

    Many more Americans were kind and tolerant until Obama fundamentally changed America. I’m not a hyphenated American. Shamefully, many are living here in America but have not accepted America’s values.

    And will someone please tell me on what grounds Mr. Trump should or could be impeached?

    1. Barack Obama was absolutely committed to the laws and constitution of the United States — and he understood the role of the courts in enforcing them. Our current president basically scorns the judiciary and rarely misses a chance to denigrate them.

      Granted President Obama got partisan and slipped off message from time to time, but his central message was about unity under the law. It is the reaction to his Presidency that was divisive.

      In what respect do you feel that Obama “fundamentally changed America”?

  22. Senator, I support you! Well said,
    My issue with you is that you only see with your left eye. Open both your eyes to see all that is wrong and that’s happening in our country and in the world. Where is your condemnation of the BLM movement who advocate the murdering of innocent police officers, or the riots and looting in Ferguson MI and Baltimore MD? Where is your condemnation of radical jihadist Islamists murdering innocent people throughout the world? Do you support destroying historical statues and monuments throughout our country? Do you support erasing history? That’s what ISIS has been doing in the Middle East for years and that’s what the Nazis did in the 1930’s. History must be taught to our youth or it will be repeated. I hope that we are not on a straight course for a second Civil War, but I think we are. I do not want this for the country that I LOVE

    1. Thanks Dean,

      I agree with you — we should not condone lawlessness in any form. Passionately, I oppose lawlessness directed at our public servants.

      But here’s the thing — basically everyone is against that already and this President and the last President condemned violence and lawlessness.

      The problem is that the current President is equivocal in his condemnation of White supremacists and therefore other leaders need to speak out on that.

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