The recent violence in Ferguson, Mo. and Baltimore may be setting the stage for another summer of civil unrest, similar to 1968, a candidate for the Libertarian nomination for N.C. governor said in a statement.
While Ken Fortenberry, a former investigative journalist and newspaper editor, condemned the violence he said our nation and leaders have learned nothing from the past.
“Instead of solving the problems of nearly 50 years ago, they have created laws and policies that have woven those very same problems into the fabric of our social, economic and political system,” he said.
“As a teen-ager in the summer of 1968, I watched the evening TV news in horror and read the morning headlines in shock as our nation seemed to be coming apart at the seams,” he recalled. Back then he said rioting mobs were angered by an unwinnable war in Vietnam, joblessness, ugly racial discrimination, and police who took the law into their own hands and injured and killed at whim.
Fortenberry said the Ferguson and Baltimore unrest is similar. Politicians have created an weak and unsustainable national quilt, “where the fibers of the citizenry itself are disconnected instead of bound together for the common good.”
“No one learns the value of personal responsibility or develops a strong work ethic as long as generational handouts continue to flow from Uncle Sam,” he said. “No one earns the kind of pride that builds character and develops good citizens when the government plays the role of mother and father in every major decision from the cradle to the grave.
He said that the war on poverty has created a nation of poor and the war on drugs has created a nation of criminals.
“Our wars have failed us miserably, cost us trillions of dollars, and should be ended. Now,” Fortenberry said. “In short, government is never the answer; it nearly always is the problem.
“We also need get our heads out of the sand and face the fact that our freedoms are slowly being chipped away by self-serving politicians who are more interested in grabbing headlines and being reelected than in working to get government off our backs and out of our lives,” he added.
But violence is not the answer, he said.
“Tearing down what others have built with their hard work is not only wrong, it is criminal, and those responsible need to be vigorously prosecuted,” Fortenberry asserted. “Similarly, the intentional injury of anyone – cop or citizen – in the name of justice is a cruel, vicious lie, and those who cause harm to others should face the legal consequences.”
“The senseless violence needs to end and those fanning the flames of discontent need to focus their time and energy on restoring our freedom, getting government out of our lives, and working in a responsible way to end injustice of any sort, starting at the ballot box.
He said the change our country really needs will only come when people “quit sending the same old faces with the same old dialogue back to Washington and to our state capitals.”