Yes, we hear that statement a lot during protests. But in Nashville’s case, it happens to be true.
You see, a delegation of educators from the People’s Republic of China happens to be in town right now, visiting our schools and taking part in cultural exchange. Some of them were at the Nashville Predators game last night; I saw them on the Megatron, waving little red Chinese flags.
It is conceivable that these people are aware of our protest; it’s quite possible they walked the handful of blocks from Bridgestone Arena to Legislative Plaza and saw the action for themselves last night. Perhaps some other members of the delegation were at “Wicked,” which would have provided them a ringside seat to witness our demonstration of Constitutionally protected free speech, our right of assembly, our display of freedom of the press.
It is shameful to me that any citizens of communist China could witness state police hauling off protestors from the people’s plaza. Or seen a journalist handcuffed in the act of reporting on these arrests, then later accused of intoxication in what is clearly a ham-fisted attempt to justify yet another crushing of a Constitutionally-protected right.
So far we’ve got the governor interfering with the people’s right to vote, their right to peaceably assemble, the rights of a free press … what’s next, Governor?
We never stop boasting about our hard-fought freedoms in America, and rightfully so. China’s human rights record is atrocious, and recent protests there have prompted a crack down on social media by the Communist Party. We all remember Tiananmen Square.
It would be nice if the actions of Tennessee’s governor could provide a stark contrast to the Chinese authorities’ heavy hand, not a muddied reflection of it.
Gov. Haslam, show our Chinese visitors what democracy really looks like. As the protestors’ sign says, democracy is messy. Go with it, that’s the way it’s supposed to be: