Letter: After 400 years, time to end discrimination and oppression

Posted 6/11/20

I want to publicly thank EastBayRI for publishing Keith Maloney’s excellent letter of support for the American ideals of Liberty, Equality and Freedom on June 4, 2020. Keith’s analogy of …

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Letter: After 400 years, time to end discrimination and oppression

Posted

I want to publicly thank EastBayRI for publishing Keith Maloney’s excellent letter of support for the American ideals of Liberty, Equality and Freedom on June 4, 2020. Keith’s analogy of the African-American community in the United States of America today to  the Jews of Hitler’s Germany in the last century is rather ironic. The Jews were actually the first known people on Earth to shatter the bondage of slavery 5,000 years ago, after 400 years of slavery in Egypt, which is well documented in the Bible.

Jewish survivors of persecution have often asked why a “loving” God would have left his Chosen People in slavery for 400 years? Why not four years or 40 years? The most learned of Rabbis of the past could only answer that the population needed to suffer oppression for that many generations to genuinely cherish freedom forever, which Jews now do.

The protest marches and massive public demonstrations in every city and across the world in protest to police brutality and the public murder of George Floyd, ironically mark forever in history the African American community reaching the same 400-year milestone (1619 to 2019) as did the Jews of Egypt.

Another striking analogy that should not be lost on Bristolians is that President Donald Trump used his mounted para-military force to attack the protesters in Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C. so that he could hold up a Bible, as if to say that God was on his side. As Bob Dylan’s famous folk song tells us, every despot and murderous dictator in history has always falsely claimed that God was on his side, as did lunatic Hitler in Germany and syphilitic Idi Amin Dada in Africa. Crazy is not an excuse.

Lafayette, the renowned French Admiral after whom that Washington Park is named, was the leader of the French forces who helped liberate the USA from the brutal and autocratic oppression of the British Crown. His headquarters during the War of Independence in 1778 was located right here in Bristol in the Willowmere House, still standing on Hope Street, and now a part of the National Registry of Historic Places.

We now have reason to hope that the end of government sanctioned oppression and discrimination is again in sight here, 400 years later in America.

George Burman
Bristol

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.