Once again, Tom Fulks has wrapped himself in self-righteous indignation, spewing venom against Republicans in general but especially those who self-identify as conservatives. In “standing against hate” as he describes it in his Sunday commentary, he condemned anyone from the political opposition who failed to sufficiently display appropriate public horror and disapproval of the latest demonstration by Klansmen and Nazis. He accuses Republicans of being indifferent and silent toward the evil among us because he hasn’t noticed our presence.
We were there, Mr. Fulks, at the vigil, in print, on the radio, but you weren’t listening. Members of the Republican Central Committee were present as were others. They didn’t announce their presence, as it wasn’t about them, but the victims.
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Your fellow travelers have also made it quite unwelcome for conservatives to exercise either their First Amendment rights or make public pronouncements of their presence. The newest version of the Nazi Party of America, the “antifa,” black-clad, masked cowards have literally physically attacked anyone who dared represent an opinion contrary to what they deem politically acceptable. The latest episode occurred last weekend in Berkeley as a peaceful group of genuine conservatives attempted to hold a free-speech rally, only to be set upon by club-wielding, black-clad thugs; the police once again watched, but did little to protect them.
As for publicly denouncing the Nazis, the Klan and your new heroes, the antifa terrorists, the phone lines on KPRL’s Sound-Off program, which I host on Fridays, lit up and “melted down” in outrage. Conservatives are talking, just not to you. They got tired of reading your tirades and stopped reading The Tribune; most don’t read it at all, including a majority of elected officials. They felt they weren’t given a fair hearing and simply turned to other sources of news. You personally contributed a great deal to that feeling, just as your article on Sunday again validated their animosity toward the paper.
As for the Klan and their ilk, don’t you find it hypocritical to be critical of the political party that led the fight against slavery (Republicans) only to join the political party that founded the Klan? Yes, you, Mr. Fulks, are a member of the political party (Democrats) that was the genesis of the Ku Klux Klan, a terrorist group founded to restore white supremacy in the post-Civil War South. It initiated lynchings, mass terror, disarmed newly freed slaves with the first gun control laws and established serfdom in the South via “Jim Crow” laws.
Democrats embraced eugenics as science and promoted the racist theories of Margaret Sanger that emphasized sterilization of African American women and any other Southern/Eastern European ethnic group she disapproved of, especially Catholics and Jews. Your party embraced the Klan and your President Wilson celebrated the Klan, showing Hollywood’s “Birth of a Nation” (which lionized the Klan) in the White House. Wilson described it as “thunder and lightning” as he segregated the armed forces and the federal civil service. Your Hollywood allies then portrayed African Americans in film in the most derogatory manner possibly for 60 years, promoting racist stereotypes which were firmly embedded in the public psyche. Your party continued to lionize public officials who were openly avowed racists, such as Sen. Robert Byrd, a high Klan official who never stopped using derogatory euphemisms towards African Americans. For over 140 years, the Democrat Party has winked at the racists in its midst. Mr. Fulks, you’re not in a position to exert moral authority over anyone.
Lately the “Left” has made excuses for so-called “antifa” (anti-fascists) who are nothing more than self-appointed vigilantes engaged in lynch-mob street fights against anyone with whom they disagree, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or age. They’re a danger to the Republic, to freedom of the press and speech. Their terrorist tactics are the hallmark of all tyrants. The free press is always their first victim whenever they win. Legitimize them at your peril.
Finally, Mr. Fulks, you implied the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is an organization worthy of support — the same organization that characterized returning Iraq/Afghan war veterans as “terrorist risks” along with tar-brushing mainline Christian groups as “hate groups.” The organization is facing lawsuits from several mainstream Christian groups for defamation for falsely branding them as “hate groups.” Get your facts straight, Mr. Fulks.
To most Americans, Republicans are just like you.
They neither “hate” nor promote violence. The danger to the Republic comes from those who do, be they Klansmen, Nazis or black-clad, masked Neo-Nazi cowards in training.
Al Fonzi is a retired Army officer, former Chairman of the SLO County Republican Party, hosts the KPRL radio program Sound-Off on Fridays and writes political commentary for the Atascadero News and New Times.