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When 15 bald-headed, black-clad neo-Nazis of a group from Arkansas called White Revolution rounded past the balcony from which freedom was once unapologetically declared on Sunday, they must have patted themselves on the back. Hundreds of anarchists, communists, socialists, and general peace lovers, also dressed in black, rushing to confirm their existence.
Impassioned and running at riot-ready police, hundreds of anarchists, communists socialists, and other general peace lovers were rushing at them, confirming their effectiveness as agitators though they were miles from home.
In truth, White Revolution, was prepared to revolt, as violence squelched only by the police was the final confirmation that both sides felt their existence was threatened. There is no reason other than protection that one takes to aggression.
As a barricade was constructed around the southerners so the groups could hate each other civilly, the establishment marched by, observing the contained mayhem for the first time after their more formal affair in Faniuel Hall. Had they the means, the mob would likely rise up to defeat this third group of ideologues.
The carnival folly over their right shoulder may have seemed a sideshow, though, Menino and Romney had come out against the outsiders. “Go back to the hole they crawled out of,” they said, still offering no inclination of rabble rousing.
Confined to the street politics that the real politicians play only when they have to, then, all the demonstrators had to take their anger out on was each other.
The police assured both sides that their rousing street calls would echo faintly on the ground floor of the buildings where the decisions are made.
So it was as it must have been when Dachau offered proof of unsanctioned hate, a gray day.
Boston has seen such despicable ideologues come northward to publicly detest the supposed assault on our values, our “freedom” as W calls it, at other times over the past 16 months.
First, over a year ago now, orderly citizens from what seemed a wholly different society sought to affirm the prediction that two people were incapable of loving each other in sickness and health, etc.
Several showed up to shout them down, but semantics, rather than sanctimony, was the main topic addressed inside the golden hall of power.
Then, last summer, the Democrats rolled in from all over to declare that theirs was the better form of cost-driven government. As the hometown son was anointed with the hopes that he would restore our mode of thinking, few showed outside
As the attention to Kerry’s recent travels indicates, Boston is a perch. Perches have many benefits, like the ability to see the entire picture and the means to descend on other nations.
Altitude, though, can also give birth to hubris. The least sensible mode, embodied by the gay marriage-bashers and white supremacists in this case, often seems so outrageous that it is not worth attention.
Those who shout down the ideologues may not be pursuing the best option for combating these backward views. Confrontation may be the method that will reverse these woes, but basing one group’s being on the obliteration of other groups, as the shouters seem to partake in, will undoubtedly lead to mutual destruction.
Willing to descend, though, the perched could invest back into churches, schools, and politics in a way that will lead to the desired compromise of spirituality and order, with debate coming in the limited middle ground where to the two intersect.
Left behind, those seeking vengeance in the name of relics will rot our society. We will find it worse off than the days when separations were as basic as male and female, black and white.
Historians placing blame, though, will surely point to those who knew of the ills to come, but still sat aside, shouting down only the obvious threats with rhymes that failed to resonate.
STEPHEN BABCOCK can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org