Dennis McKenzie: Cancel culture lights a fuse | TheUnion.com
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Dennis McKenzie: Cancel culture lights a fuse

I am afraid, very afraid. Maybe you can feel it, too — the pressure of hate and violence building to a crescendo where we implode?

Before we understand the present, we must look to the past. Not the ancient past, but just to the ’60s and ’70s. The Vietnam War, anti-police sentiment and pro-communism was sowing discontent throughout America. Assassins took out many of our leaders: President JFK, Bobby Kennedy; Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leader Medgar Evers; Malcolm X; and more.

The communist Weather Underground was responsible for the bombings of over 25 buildings, including police stations.



The Black Panthers were formed by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale using the principles of Marxism because of alleged police brutality in Oakland. Huey Newton gained notoriety by murdering a police officer during a traffic stop. Police and FBI killed Black Panther leader Fred Hampton and member Fred Clark in a pre-dawn raid in a fuselage of over 100 bullets while both were asleep in their beds and only awoke to fire one shot.

Chicago had to pay millions in unlawful death suits and many believe these killings were police assassinations.




College protests on Vietnam turned into riots and destruction at many universities. Four protesting students at Kent State were killed by National Guardsmen.

Charges of police brutality led to riots in Watts, Detroit, Newark and many other cities resulting in numerous deaths and large sections of the cities burned to cinders.

Police officers were murdered throughout America, tragically earning the name of “Target Blue!”

Do you see any déjà-vu all over again today? If not, you should, because this time it’s happening on steroids. Social media is the difference-maker.

Free speech is no longer tolerated unless it is approved by rulers of the mob. Yes, the mob! That is exactly what people are who want to destroy all speech that does not agree with their own.

Cancel those who speak out; destroy their jobs, take them off the fly list; take away their medical insurance, run them out of political office; target their homes and family threatening to kill them; work with groups whose livelihoods is destroying individuals and businesses.

French philosopher Voltaire stated in the 1700s, “I disagree with almost everything you say but will fight to the death your right to say it.” He would probably be canceled today.

The San Francisco School District is rushing to remove the names of Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington and Paul Revere from their schools by using the morals of today to judge the past, which defies logic and common sense. We would not be a country if it were not for leaders like these.

The Nazis did this same canceling during World War II by burning all books that did not validate their beliefs and imprisoning or executing anyone who spoke against them; as did Chairman Mao; as did Lenin and Stalin.

Are you feeling the tension? The temperature rising?

It doesn’t matter who we supported in the election. The hate that is building cannot continue without a volcanic explosion.

Now people with opposing views in the eyes of the giants of social media are not allowed to express their opinions. This is contrary to what is necessary: We need more speech, not less. Bottling up speech will only result in hate and violence.

People who are canceled or can no longer express themselves will become explosive. Think of Timothy McVeigh blowing up a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people.

So what should we do?

— Embrace free speech. Do not join the mob or try to destroy someone who does not agree with our opinions.

— Denounce all rioters, whether it’s our Capitol building or our cities. If we do not do this, then history will repeat itself with the violence ratcheting up, cascading into more assassinations, more killings in the streets, more riots, and then the harrowing holocaust of another civil war. Patiently observing all of this and actively promoting these tensions is communist China, which wants to turn us into “The People’s Republic of America.” Marxism is on the march in our United States. Do your homework, and you will learn which so-called social justice groups define themselves as Marxists and are involved in tearing our country down.

So there you have it. We can keep putting the pedal to the metal at breakneck speed and end up like Thelma and Louise and rocketing into the abyss. Or we can renew our vows to love, faith and country and work together to save our besieged citadel of freedom.

We must do this now! If not, then all the thousands and thousands whose blood was shed to keep our country free will all have died in vain. We will have to utter a tearful farewell as Lady Liberty takes her last breath and crumbles into the dustbin of civilization.

Our last prayer will be this: “Goodbye America, we loved you with all our hearts!”

Dennis McKenzie is a retired police officer of over 30 years and a college administration of justice instructor for more than 20 years. He lives in Nevada City.


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