Here we are

By Steve Woodward

In our upside down world, a Pinehurst resident last week unfurled and mounted a “BIDEN President” flag inconspicuously, almost out of view. For a few days it literally was hanging upside down, difficult to decipher, as if Joe Biden himself might have done the job.

Another Pinehurst resident said she admired thematic yard signs your humble author plants in his front yard, conspicuously, in full view of a busy road. They suggest highly controversial ideas. Socialism Distancing. Unmask Tyranny. Dethrone King Cooper. She was offered one but declined, fearing it would provoke property damage. Her words.

4 July.5The most upside down moment came last Saturday after a joyous parade on Independence Day through the heart of the Village of Pinehurst, organized after Mayor John Strickland predictably cancelled the annual parade operated by local government. In its place was the “oh really, just watch us” July 4th parade brought to life by our Moore County Republican Women and their many supporters. There were classic convertibles, red pickups, golf carts, a vintage Jeep, signs, flags, blaring music from car audio systems, and proud marchers armed with copies of the U.S. Constitution, not sledge hammers and bricks. So very right side up.

The parade was brief but exhilarating. It attracted a photographer from The Pilot. A news report and photos were posted later Saturday on The Pilot‘s Facebook page. Reaction was swift. Of the many upside down laments and criticisms aimed at our rogue parade, one man captured the award for best encapsulating the misery that defines today’s Left. He posted a one-word comment about the parade. “Yuck.”

Many of us hear that word in our heads as we open our eyes each morning to face another day of across-the-board hysteria. The Left has mounted an overwhelming campaign, years in the making, to tear apart our nation. The Wuhan Virus was perhaps not expected but easy enough to exploit on a dime to crater a robust Trump-era economy and, as a silver lining, restrict worship and foment government dependency. Quite a trifecta.

So, too, the death under (white) police arrest of a (black) Minneapolis man a couple of months later. Perfect storm. An easily stoked health crisis on a parallel track with an eruption of violence to decry “systemic racism.” And a bonus: If you oppose wearing a mask in crowds, just become an anarchist. Masks not required.

Any denunciation of race-baiting by pointing to systemic freedom, systemic prosperity or systemic innovation, is taboo. Do not even dare to suggest that all lives matter. The latter will earn you a “I’m a Racist” tee shirt.

As expected, corrupt media cheerleaders finally arrived at the moment when every case and every death tied to the Wuhan Virus — which time will tell include false cases and falsely attributed deaths — is blamed on President Donald Trump. (So, to be clear, he colluded with China, not Russia?) Then along came nationwide Marxist-led Black Lives Matter uprisings intersecting with traditional Independence Day celebrations. The media took its cue and echoed the words of Marxism’s highly paid spokesman, Colin Kaepernick. A celebration of American Independence is a celebration of “white supremacy”. Americans must re-think the Fourth of July. While wearing masks and fearing one another’s next sneeze.

But the collapse of our nation is not, and cannot be, inevitable. Because that was the essence of President Trump’s Mount Rushmore speech, the Left predictably denounced it. “Divisive and dark” read the headlines. Let’s hope so. Why would we seek unity with college indoctrinated, white guilt infused zombies who would erase our history, one monument at a time? And they won’t stop with physical destruction. The primary targets are religion, law enforcement and free enterprise. And the Washington Redskins.

Patriotic Americans have quoted adoringly, and for generations, President Ronald Reagan’s characterizations of the United States. “A shining City on a Hill.” “The last, best hope for man on Earth.” In 2020, we will find out if these words are destined to ring hollow, or if individuals are willing to fight to sustain them, not with weapons, not with parades, not with yard signs but with relentless determination to get out the vote and win elections, from Trump-Pence and Congress, to the courts and statehouses.

At the conclusion of Saturday’s parade, a military veteran who resides among us climbed atop a pickup truck to read, word for word, the Declaration of Independence. Dozens gathered around to listen. The final sentence reminds us today what we must be willing to do. “With a firm reliance of the protection on divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” Many founders lost their lives and their fortunes, but not one his honor.

Reagan also said that “our’s is a rendezvous with destiny.” Here we are.

 

 

 

Stay safe, Mr. Columbus

By Steve Woodward

The next time you walk past a statue honoring a historic figure, you might consider uttering a phrase now very much in vogue: Stay safe. Seems an odd thing to say to one as courageous as Christopher Columbus but, suddenly, statues are almost as endangered as city storefronts and American flags. Portraits and plaques, you’re next.

Destroying private property and erasing American history are part of Antifa’s far left, two-pronged assault strategy, with plenty of backup from Democrat mayors, governors and their fellow radicals in Congress. A mob in Birmingham, Ala., was struggling to tear down a Confederate Soldiers and Sailors monument when none other than the city’s Democrat mayor showed up to help them finish the job.

Meanwhile, how about the corporate virtue signaling? Perhaps the day soon will come when all of the images on grocery store packaging will be masked, just in case someone decides the Keebler elves are offensive to short people. Will Col. Sanders be transitioning to gray or beige suits? Or maybe the solution is East German-era generic shelf stocking. There will be an aisle on which every box is labeled RICE; another where your choices are SYRUP or SYRUP.

And no more choosing between Mattel’s Barbie and Ken. This just in: Ken is Barbie. Woke.

Such crass chuckling will get your house burned to the ground in 2020. But what honest person can deny needing a break from the unrelenting madness sweeping our besieged nation?

It would all be laugh out loud hilarious if it was not so dangerous. Conservative author and former Republican Presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan published in 2011 a book entitled “Suicide of a Superpower: Will American Survive to 2025?” He wrote, “America will be gone” in a few decades. “In its place will arise a country unrecognizable to our parents.”

His question targeting 2025 now appears prophetic. Remember how mainstream media shrieked when, during an earlier round of statue toppling a few years ago, President Donald Trump remarked that monuments to Washington and Jefferson would be next? That will never happen, said these keen cultural observers. Don’t be ridiculous, Orange Man.

Sadly, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson have both gone down with a thud in Portland, Ore.  Jefferson soon will disappear in Decatur, Ga., and New York City Hall. A Washington statue in Chicago was vandalized amid calls for its removal. (How about removing the Democrats who preside, week after week, over black versus black violence in the streets?)

Columbus has not been spared. He was torn from a pedestal in St. Paul, Minn. He was beheaded in Boston. And submerged in a lake in Richmond, Va.

The destruction is not limited to the famous. Three plaques honoring confederate soldiers have been removed from the University of Alabama’s campus library. A monument commemorating more than 1,600 confederate soldiers who died in Civil War prisoner camps controlled by the Union army is coming down in Indianapolis.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered the removal of portraits of four former Speakers to wrap up her week. The corrupt media will not mention that all four are Democrats who defended slavery. So what took so long, Nance? Howell Cobb of Georgia was born on a plantation and became a raging secessionist. James Orr of South Carolina was a member of a three-person commission sent to Washington in 1861 to negotiate a truce with President James Buchanan to avert civil war. Before they left town, artillery fire was tearing apart Fort Sumter in the Charleston Harbor. The war had begun.

The chapters of American history represented by these many suddenly repulsive monuments and portraits across our land have been in place, in many cases, for a century or more. The rage that suddenly casts them as unbearable and offensive drips with hypocrisy. But if virtually everything is, as the mobs insist, blatantly racist, from Washington, Jefferson, Columbus, Robert E. Lee, and anyone who ever wore a Confederate uniform or raised the Confederacy’s flag, where does it end? The next growing movement is the renaming of every building ever dedicated to honor a person’s memory.

If this folly absolutely must happen to quell vandalism and violence, might we suggest starting with the Russell Senate office building. Richard B. Russell, Jr., was a lifelong Democrat who was Governor of Georgia and a U.S. Senator for nearly four decades. He was twice a candidate for President (1948 and ’52). He opposed civil rights legislation at every turn, and led a Southern boycott of the 1964 Democrat National Convention to protest the signing into law of the Civil Rights Act by President Lyndon Johnson.

If not the Russell building, then what? A suggestion floating around is to name it the Hiram Revels building. Revels, a Republican, was our nation’s first black U.S. Senator (1870), representing Mississippi, although he was born a free man in Fayetteville, N.C. He spent much of his adult life as a minister, following in the footsteps of his father. Revels surely would have applauded the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

He paved the way forward as the Republican Party emerged as the anti-slavery, civil rights party. In fact, the 1964 Act never would have made it to Johnson’s desk without 80 percent-plus support by Republicans in the House and Senate.

 

Generational hypocrisy

By Steve Woodward

The Left rejects the United States of America as founded.

It would confiscate and ban firearms owned by law abiding citizens. But it does not reject the use of knives, bricks, rocks, flames fueled by chemical agents and spray paint in the hands of lawless citizens.

It is calling for police departments to be defunded by state governments. But it resists calls to defund Planned Parenthood abortion on demand, which annually culls the black population by the tens of thousands.

The Left is fine with killing and wounding law enforcement officers. The Left is unmoved by weekly deaths of young black and Hispanic men who are murdered openly, on the streets, by fellow young black and Hispanic men. The Left ignores white people who are improperly detained by law enforcement, white and black, and, sometimes, killed, deliberately or unintentionally.

The Left rejects school choice for children of impoverished black families, preferring they attend underperforming public schools, from which they are likely to drop out.

The Left decries “systemic racism” in 2020. Before that, it was 1964. 1968. 1992. 2008. 2014. Black Lives Matter. But they only matter, apparently, when a moment in time says they matter. The rest of the time, black lives are shackled by the soft tyranny of low expectations and social justice programs imposed on those lives by, guess who? The Left.

Few civil rights warriors possess stronger truth radar than North Carolina native Clarence Henderson. In 1960, he and other young black men sat down at a white-only lunch counter in Greensboro. They changed the world. Nothing was set on fire. Nobody died. They sat down. Before the end of the decade federal legislation passed to begin the slow unraveling of segregation. The Left is unimpressed. Why did it not happen in the 1600s when slaves arrived on the shores of a future land mass called America? Why did it take so long? Ask Democrats, who defended slavery in the 1860s, and formed the Ku Klux Klan around the same time to oppose Republican Reconstruction-era policies.

“As someone who made an impact during the (’60s) Civil Rights era, I know that strong, peaceful protests can make a difference,” writes Henderson. “We never damaged property or encouraged any type of riotous actions.”

The men who are complicit in the alleged murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis will remain, perhaps forever, a mystery to a majority of Americans because we go about our lives without a trace of contempt toward “people of color”. We worship together. We work together. We volunteer together. What is not mysterious is why one man’s senseless death has sparked violence, property destruction and orchestrated outrage which our streets have not see in more than a half century.

One, it is an election year and the Left despises President Donald Trump. So there is a strong exploitation motive. Two, widespread riots, mostly violent not mostly peaceful, carried out by Antifa and other global threats to civilization, conveniently divert attention from generational black poverty, lawlessness and unemployment.

Observe where the deepest unrest lies. In cities controlled by Democrats and the Left for decades. The worst kind of racism is subtle, and the Left owns it. A friend from college days who has devoted 20+ years serving Los Angeles homeless through a major organization should be angry at the neglect of California’s Democrat establishment which today finds areas overrun by homeless. But instead he laments in an email to donors “decades of generations being denied their basic rights, access to quality education, equal pay and opportunity.” But no mention of Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Brown or other long entrenched Democrats who have been quite content to let the crisis escalate knowing they’d be re-elected for life.

Where are we two weeks into this? The Left is calling for what President Barack Obama promised 12 years ago as the nation’s first president of color, a transformational change. It did not happen under our black president and his black Attorney General, Eric Holder. How will it happen now? Perhaps if we just allow property destruction to go on long enough. On our side of the “aisle”, pathetically, there is pandering. Hollow, boilerplate outrage.

A Republican N.C. congressman who I choose not to embarrass calls for “important and needed conversations regarding race and equality” without saying who is doing the talking. He says we should “learn from one another” and “bridge the divides”. And, the worst cliche of all: “Let’s get to work.”

Here’s an idea. Let’s denounce the Left for cheering our country toward anarchy. Let’s engage more National Guard and U.S. military in the streets to restore order. And let’s stop accepting false narratives. Let’s promote facts and reality in 21st century America.

Writes Hans Bader, a civil rights attorney, in a recent post to CNSNews.com: “Resist calls from prominent Democrats to ‘defund the police.’ Police save many lives in the black community by arresting dangerous people. Black people are much more likely to be killed by an ordinary criminal than by a police officer. Peter Kirsanow, a black civil-rights commissioner, says that in 2015, ‘a cop was 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male was likely to be killed by a cop’.”

In other words, let’s defund the Left, defund Antifa and heavily fund leaders like Clarence Henderson who are not invested in false narratives.

 

 

 

American Al Qaeda

By Steve Woodward

If we are expected to patiently observe a phasing in of a return to freely living our daily lives amid Wuhan Virus hysteria, should we not expect, demand, a phasing out of domestic terrorism overwhelming our urban streets? Government had all of the solutions for the former, issued as “emergency” orders, but suddenly is silent on how to combat the latter. No orders.

Radical left Democrat mayors and governors (including North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper) have repeatedly admonished us to “stay at home”, followed by guidance that we are “safer at home”. Now, it turns out they were right but for the wrong reason. Cooper expressed that he was “frustrated” by mounting unlawful riots in the state’s urban centers after an incident in Minnesota involving a white police officer and black man. But where was the executive order to call in the National Guard, where was the order declaring Antifa and its network of at-the-ready flamethrowers what they are, domestic terrorists? (President Trump took care of that on Sunday).

Political tyranny suddenly has yielded to political gamesmanship and anarchy in the streets not far from home, in Charlotte, Fayetteville and Raleigh. If states and municipalities were not prepared for the invisible Wuhan Virus, they certainly have been shown even more ill-prepared to combat highly visible and well orchestrated assaults on private businesses and innocent citizens.

Quite the one-two punch. The virus shatters small businesses’ finances; the street thugs shatter their windows and recent returns to semi-normalcy. If the left saw a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to allow virus hysteria to take down the U.S. economy, just imagine how their heads must be spinning at the thought of leveraging renewed racial tensions, largely staged and carried out with great precision. They mobilize suddenly and formidably in a way reminiscent of Al Qaeda and Isis, as if they have lingered in the shadows until the moment arrives. The big difference is that these terrorists are bred from within our society.

During Memorial Day weekend, my wife and I strolled the neighborhoods and streets of Charleston, S.C. As I write, King Street in the heart of Charleston was covered in glass fragments and debris when the sun came up on May 31. A week ago, no one would have suggested there was radical tension in the air. Maybe it was simmering, but Charleston was not a city that felt tense. It felt open and resilient.

A few years ago, I directed regional marketing for a restaurant chain that had one of its locations on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. On the evening of May 30, a brick took out a glass panel in the restaurant, and the carnage was far worse heading up the street toward the State Capitol and the Governor’s Mansion, according to photos and video posted to social media. I spent many days and nights in downtown Raleigh, famous for its recurring street fairs. Downtown Raleigh is an emerging and thriving place as more high rise apartments spring up and more jobs come to town (courtesy of new inhabitants such open-source software firm Red Hat). What Raleigh is not — until recent days — is a city brimming with overt racial tension. During Cooper’s unconstitutional lockdown, a series of #ReOpenNC Tuesday protests, attended by all races and ethnicities, were conducted peacefully with only a handful of symbolic arrests, no police showdowns and absolutely zero property damage.

The current violent uprisings have happened before, as recently as 2014 in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore. They are happening now. They are likely to happen again. Why? The left blames our society for refusing to have a “serious conversation” about racial prejudice in our country. Cooper insists the latest protests arose to address “real systemic racism”. This is entirely disingenuous. The nation’s most impoverished, racially divided (measured by economic prosperity gaps) metro areas have been controlled and manipulated by Democrat politicians for decades. Their government solutions, their social engineering policies and cyclical programs to ingrain welfare dependency are deliberate. Yet conservatives are the racists. Just ask any mainstream media organization.

Without a hint of irony, a Washington Post columnist makes this recent observation: “It’s also notable that the cities where we’ve seen the most social unrest following high-profile police abuse cases — Baltimore, Ferguson, Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee and now Minneapolis — are cities with a well-documented history of police discrimination, abuse and violence. These are the cities where black people were probably more likely to have had their own bad experiences with police and, presumably, more likely to see themselves or someone they know in the shoes of Freddie Gray (Baltimore, 2015) or Laquan McDonald (Chicago, 2014) or Tamir Rice (Cleveland, 2014).”

And what else do these cities have in common? Democrat mayors appointing police chiefs who continue to preside over unethical, undisciplined forces comprised of cops who protect the bad actors in the department to uphold the fraternal code. (The Minneapolis cop charged with third-degree murder in the death of the apprehended George Floyd had 18 previous complaints about his conduct in uniform in his personnel file). This, rather than cleaning house, extracting the dangerous cops from the roster and finding ways to actually address racial tensions between law enforcement and young people caught in up in multi-generational hopelessness.

We’ve been told for two months to wash our hands. Turns out, Gov. Cooper and fellow Democrat governors, Democrat mayors and law enforcement leadership washed their collective hands and withdrew compassion for the most vulnerable long ago. The virus is not the worst blight on our society, after all.

 

 

 

God or Governor?

By Steve Woodward

An open letter from local clergy was published Sunday on The Pilot‘s Opinion page. The letter was signed by 26 pastors, who appear to be convinced that faith is no match for the Wuhan Virus. It is an alarming wake-up call. Far left theology schools have subjected us to a generation of pastors who embrace science and government solutions.

The letter directs congregation members of area churches to refrain from gathering prematurely, but does not reveal a target date for doing so in the future.

This is in stark contrast to the statement issued during the weekend by the executive director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, Timothy Head:

“On behalf of the over 2 million members and supporters of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, I want to thank President (Donald) Trump for recognizing that houses of worship are essential. Thank you for calling on governors around the country to allow churches to open up and to be considered essential. The CDC has released guidelines for churches to follow as best practices to keep everyone safe and healthy.”

But this was not the tone of The Pilot joint letter.

As a people, we turn to God for courage, comfort and hope. Why would men and women of God, local pastors, sign a letter fueling more hysteria, parroting the talking points of the left and a corrupt media? Who wrote it? One of Gov. Cooper’s minions?

Most infuriating was a reference to the Holy Spirit’s guidance in the same sentence as our reliance on scientists and health care experts, who have been wrong over and over again.

Jesus admonished us to come sit at his feet, rather than hanging back with the crowd. This is what we heard from our pastors during the Season of Lent. 

Here is what the NC Constitution says about religious liberty: “All persons have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience”.

Are we as Christians to believe that the actions and dictates of men will decide our fate on this earth, that those who have been infected by the Wuhan Virus, or succumbed to it, were not pre-destined in accordance with God’s will? That’s what Christians believe and millions of free Americans adhere to that thinking. If eternal life is the end game, why cower in fear, or live under a false presumption of safety, amid this or any other health crisis during our earthly journey?