Sunday, October 23, 2005


A couple of opinions from local commentators:

"Riot only justified presence for Nazis" by Danielle Winters
"Besides unity, let's talk about personal responsibility" by Rose Russell
"Nazi riots incite fright, fascination" by Eric Steele
"Toledo Mayor: Neo-Nazis Had Right to March" by John Seewer
"Mayor Blames Gangs for Anti-Nazi Violence" by The Associated Press

Here's my two-cents' worth. I acquiesce to the sentiments of Danielle Winters in her column that racists are not among my favorite people, whether they be white supremacists, black supremacists, or little-green-men supremacists. Racism is evil no matter what its source.

That's why I'm incensed at the obviously-biased and misleading (to say the least) comments and headlines that read as follows: "White Supremacists Riot in Toledo, Ohio" (ABC News). I have no love or support for the agendas of Neo-Nazis, but it is certainly not fair nor accurate to report this as a White Supremacist Riot when the white supremacists weren't even there. The Neo-Nazi demonstrators were escorted away by local police BEFORE the locals began to riot.

Look at all the footage of the riots. Who was doing all of the violence? It was the crowd that was gathered to protest the legal demonstration. These citizens were destroying their own community and attacking the very authorities and emergency response workers who were there to protect them. Some, like Toledo Mayor Jack Ford, say that the rioters were local gangs while others (like Pastor Mansour Bey of the First Church of God in Toledo on FNC's "Heartland" with John Kasich, 10/22/05) claim that the "vast majority" of the rioters were not gang members, but members of the community. I certainly hope that is not the case, as it would be a very unflattering reflection upon the Toledo populace.

The bottom line is this: The presence of the Neo-Nazis may have angered the locals, but the stated purpose of their demonstration was to protest the violence of local gangs. I certainly don't agree with the message of white supremacists, but all appearances indicate that the Neo-Nazis were protesting peacefully. This was NOT a "white supremacist riot." It was a local thug riot. Black, white, or green, you cannot blame a riot on law-abiding, peaceful citizens when all of the illegal activity is perpetrated by those violently protesting a peaceful, albeit highly objectionable, demonstration.



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