Last night I watched The FBI Story (1959) starring Jimmy Stewart as FBI agent Chip Hardesty. Through the story of his career the history of the FBI was told. A somewhat sanitized version to be sure but accurate as far as it went. Go here to read some background on the film. From an entertainment standpoint it is a great film, full of humor and drama, Jimmy Stewart and Vera Miles doing a good job of making you care about Chip Hardesty and his wife. In one moving scene Hardesty and his wife learn that their only son was killed in the first assault wave on Iwo Jima. As the black tide of grief washes over them as it does almost all parents who lose a child, Stewart seemed to be actually experiencing that sorrow. A decorated Colonel in the Eighth Air Force who flew bomber missions during the War, I expect that Stewart while filming that scene was recalling the many young men he had known who had died in the units he commanded, and the letters he wrote to their parents and wives. A good film, but that is not why I am writing this post.
In a clash with the Ku Klux Klan Hardesty describes it as follows:
The next day, Sam and I were sent down South with five other agents. We were given simple instructions: To check on a group of terrorists known as the Ku Klux Klan. They had one minor complaint: They didn’t like the Bill of Rights. They said so in speeches. They said so in a lot of different ways. They ransacked homes……and defiled ancient devotions. It was a secret organization……that was so powerful it didn’t have to be secret.
This struck home to me because in this country we see the growing influence on the left of groups that also do not like the Bill of Rights. To their credit some leftists are beginning to speak out against these groups, including Senators Warren and Sanders, Professor Cornell West and talk show host Bill Maher. It is a frightening movement that bodes ill for civic peace. Here is a current example of what these groups are accomplishing:
For years, the 82nd Avenue of the Roses parade has kicked off Portland’s annual Rose Festival and marked beginning of the Oregon city’s parade season.
But after a threatening email was sent to parade organizers – singling out members of the Multnomah County Republican Party (MCRP) who were planning to take part – officials have decided to cancel the family-friendly procession in an effort to avoid any clashes between protesters and marchers.
“This would have been the 11th year of the parade. This is culturally enriched community that has grown very diverse over the years,” Rick Jarvis, a spokesman for the Rose Festival Foundation, told Fox News. “The association has worked very hard to get everyone together in one common are and the parade helped served in that function.”
Local media reported that the email was sent from “firstname.lastname@example.org,” and said that if members of the MCRP marched on Saturday they planned to have “two hundred or more people rush into the parade into the middle and drag and push them out.”
“You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely,” the anonymous email said, in reference to the violent riots that broke out in Portland after the 2016 presidential election, reported the Oregonian. “This is non-negotiable.”
Go here to read the rest. There is now a decades old “tradition” of conservative speakers having their speeches disrupted on campuses by leftist thugs and of their speeches being cancelled by administrators on colleges and universities out of fear of violence by leftist mobs. This is called in law “the heckler’s veto” and the Supreme Court has ruled time and time again that governments may not use the risk of violence by opponents of speech to restrict free speech rights. Nonetheless this lawless tactic has proven amazingly successful and now forces on the left seek to effectively ban conservative speakers and groups from entire communities. This tactics reeks of the white sheets of the Ku Klux Klan and the brown shirts of Nazi Germany, the black shirts of Fascist Italy and the red shirts of Soviet Russia. The use of violence and the threat of violence to shut people up and to cow political opposition is inherently un-American and a violation of the personal liberty that all Americans should cherish.