Upsetting messages close to home

During a recent walk home from Kent Station, I was shocked and disgusted by several posters I ran across.

One such poster read “America was never great,” and claimed our country was nothing more than a hotbed of religious bigotry, built on the backs of slaves and child labor. This propaganda was sponsored by the American Communist party, and the residents of Kent should be appalled by it.

America was never great?

Was it great in 1776, when it fought and won its freedom from the world’s strongest empire? Was it great in the years that followed as immigrants flocked to its shores to enjoy the freedoms of American citizens? Was it great in 1946, when the American military halted the advance of Hitler’s shadow over Europe?

Yes, like every nation, America had its moral failings. But we learned from past failures and have, as a nation, done what we can to make things right.

To think communists have the gall to point fingers. They enjoy the freedom of speech in this country, which allows them to criticize the government in public. How well would such criticism go over in China?

When I saw those communist posters I wanted nothing more badly than to rip them down and tear them to shreds. But I didn’t do that because the people who made those posters have the same right to freedom of speech that I do, even if they chose abuse that right by spreading lies. They have the right to say things that I find abhorrent because that’s how freedom works. They have that right because this is America – an undeniably great nation.

– Keith Accisano

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