This from the Rocky Mountain News this morning, reports that Denver's Mayor John Hickenlooper is "...sick and tired..." of the conflict and controversy that traditionally--since, at least, 1991-- surrounds Denver's Columbus Day parade. The Great Hick, in a letter to both the Italian folk and the protester folk, wonders why we all can't just get along; he urges both groups to seek alternative celebrations of their heritage.
What has occurred, however, is that the LEGALLY SANCTIONED parade through the streets of Denver has seen an attempt by the protester folk to deny the First Amendment rights of the Italians by blocking their path, hurling obscenities and other matters of substance at the marchers.
Okay. Fact: The Italian folk traditionally apply for a permit to have their little parade through the streets of downtown Denver on Columbus day. Their parade is legal. Their parade celebrates the First Amendment rights of all Americans.
Fact: Russell Means and Glenn Morris and Ward Churchill and other "ethnic" folk (although I do believe Ward Churchill is full of crap with his assertion that he is part Native American) traditionally attempt to deny the Italian folk's First Amendment right to express their pride in their heritage which, incidentally, isn't so much about Columbus as it is about their ancestor's trek from the Old Country to the fabulous promise of America.
I read recently in our neighborhood newspaper (I live in an old Denver neighborhood that was originally occupied by LEGAL Italian immigrants) that when the Italian kids would--amongst themselves as they played in the front yards of their modest homes--start conversing in Italian, a parent would inevitably burst through the front door of the house and admonish the children to speak English. "We're American, now," the parent would scold. "Speak English."
Well, Hickenlooper believes that the Italians are equally to blame for the conflict which surrounds the Columbus day parade imbroglio caused by the likes of Ward Churchill and Russell Means and Glenn Morris and other gosh, I really need to get my face on t.v., ethnic folk who traditionally attempt to subvert the right of the Italian folk to celebrate the holiday.
Vincent Carroll, an editorial writer for the News, provided this response to Hickenlooper's ridiculous assertions which reads, in part:
With the exception of a few lines, however, the letter promotes the grotesque fiction that the "volatile situations" of the past few years are equally the fault of the parade organizers and those who try to shut it down. In fact, those "volatile situations" are solely the fault of protesters who do not believe in free speech, do not respect the Constitution, and who elevate their political agenda above the rights of everyone else.
However much Hickenlooper deplores the parade, he should at least be able to acknowledge that much.