Wednesday, February 19, 2020
US flag

Vandals strike Republican targets

A Republican office was firebombed in North Carolina and “Vote for Trump” signs have been vandalized in Maryland—these are the indications that while US political campaigns have always been somewhat ugly and contentious, violence is being added to the list of tools this year.

Governor Pat McCrory, Republican of North Carolina, took Sunday to call the weekend firebombing of a Republican headquarters in Charlotte “an attack on our democracy,” The Charlotte Observer reports. No one was injured in the attack.

In suburban Baltimore, large Trump signs have been burned, ripped, and vandalized, according to the Howard County Times. “We have a very divided electorate this year,” the paper quoted state Senator Gail Bates, a Republican herself, as saying. “People have the right to express their opinions; they do not have a right to destroy things.”

In reference to the North Carolina firebombing, political hopefuls took to the Twitterverse, as has become the standard practice in US elections, with both the Republican and Democratic nominees for president condemning the action.

Any attack on the machinery of our democracy is an attack on all of us, regardless of the target. While we may disagree with the main point of a sign or the campaign being promoted by workers in a certain office, we must defend without fail their right to speak.

This is America still. A lesson about how to teach terrorism to students was developed by the group Rethinking Schools, which was launched by a group of teachers around Milwaukee about 30 years ago. The organization writes:

Underlying this curricular demand for consistency [about terrorism] is the basic democratic, indeed human, premise that the lives of people from one nation [or one political party] are not worth more than the lives of people from another. A Pakistani university student, Nabil Ahmed, expressed this sentiment to the Christian Science Monitor: “There is only one way for America to be a friend of Islam. And that is if they consider our lives to be as precious as their own.”

There is only one way for Republicans and Democrats to accomplish anything, and that is if they consider lives of people in the other party to be as precious as their own. That consideration is completely incompatible with the notion of violence in any form.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Most detailed images ever of the sun

A new telescope at the National Solar Observatory snapped the most detailed pictures of the sun's surface we have ever seen.

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.

Md. & IL bands perform on New Year’s in...

Bands from IL and Md. once again entertained thousands of people who lined the streets of London and Rome on New Year's Day.

Howard Co. sounds an under-staffing alarm

Teachers in a Md. district have filed a grievance over missing planning and lunch periods and, as a result, putting the most vulnerable students at risk.

Top 11 school stories of 2019

We find these 11 stories to have the greatest potential for influencing activity and direction in schools for the near future.

Girls’ volleyball champs in Illinois

We congratulate the Illinois state champions in girls' volleyball: Newark, St Teresa, Sterling, & Benet Academy.

A weekend of ‘band geeks’ across America

The musical Band Geeks was in performance at a MD high school, just as marching bands from across America named a national champion.

2 dead, 3 wounded in Calif. school shooting

Another school shooting has resulted in the death of 2 California high school students. The suspect shot himself and is in custody.

Mercury makes a transit; next in 2032

A transit of Mercury occurred today and was visible from the US, provided you had sunny skies. It was one of longest possible transits.

On the Naperville BWW racist incident

A racist incident at a Naperville, IL, sports bar indicates that the threads of racism are strong, perhaps as strong as ever.

IL bill could excuse absences to vote

A proposed law in IL could give students up to two hours during the school day so they could vote in the upcoming election.