As I’ve made clear before I’m not a huge fan of the protesters here in Denver, but is it legal to surround them on all sides, hold them there, kick out the media, and then pepper spray everyone who’s left? Who couldn’t get out? The video available here on the Colorado Independent gives me the heebie-jeebies.
The whole thing is just weird — and I would think unconstitutional as well, though I’m sure arguments about public safety will win out in the end, even if they’re exaggerated or fabricated. Things could have turned out much worse, and very well might in the coming days, but I fear expectations on both sides have created a highly volatile situation. Cops expect protesters to go nucking futs, and protesters expect the same from police. I guess one side was proved at least partially right last night.
In other news, law enforcement officers stopped a real threat yesterday with the arrest of four people suspected in a plot to kill Barack Obama. One of the suspects even jumped out of a 6th story window to avoid capture by police. These are the sorts of things you worry about with an African American candidate, but never fully comprehend until something like this happens.
From one of the suspects, as quoted by Channel 4 News, “He don’t belong in political office. Blacks don’t belong in political office. He ought to be shot.”
And yet I love this country, especially because, as Michelle Obama put it last night, of what it should be:
And Barack stood up that day, and he spoke words that have stayed with me ever since. He talked about the world as it is and the world as it should be. And he said that all too often we accept the distance between the two, and we settle for the world as it is, even when it doesn’t reflect our values and aspirations.
But he reminded us that we also know what the world should look like. He said we know what fairness and justice and opportunity look like, and he urged us to believe in ourselves, to find the strength within ourselves to strive for the world as it should be. And isn’t that the great American story?
The promise of our nation remains unfulfilled, and will forever remain unfulfilled, as we continue to reach for better than what we are. Protesters, police, bigots, and Obama — all Americans, and all just people.
Colorado Independent’s blog-i-nist (blogger-columnist) Jeff Bridges has worked in Democratic politics for the last 10 years, serving as communications director for two congressional races in Colorado and two governors races in the Deep South. Bridges also worked for Sen. Ken Salazar as a legislative assistant in DC, and currently serves on the board of directors for New Era Colorado and the Colorado Conservation Voters.