During the wave of Irish immigration in the 19th Century precipitated by the Potato Famine, many businesses in New York City, the entry port for many Irish, posted signs indicating no Irish and dogs allowed. Sadly, some went further and added Blacks to the list. As we observe Martin Luther King Day on January 20, 2014, thankfully only our canine residents face discrimination in establishments serving the public, not from the owners but from the various departments of health.
It is ironic that on the day of what should be a day of support for tolerance and diversity, the governor of New York puts up a new sign of exclusion—pro-life, pro-assault gun (ambiguous definition at best) and anti-gay, and the extreme conservatives are not welcome in New York. If Martin Luther King were alive today would his “I Have A Dream” speech also included, with apologies to one of the great speeches of our modern time, a line to the effect that “voters will be judged not by the color of their views, liberal or conservative, but by the strength of their character.”? I would hope so; and if not, it is time for another Kerner Report to warn that this nation is dissolving into two nations not one white and one black, but rather one liberal and one conservative with the result of complete and utter gridlock and the death of any meaningful compromise. I would never attack a person's character solely because of his liberal views on an issue; nor would I expect a liberal to attack mine because of my conservative views---that's not the way discourse on issues should work.
Andrew Cuomo should be ashamed of himself for blatantly expressing such views today and each every day. Liberal and Conservative thoughts absolutely have the right to exist in New York in the market place of ideas as long as they are not linked to and inseparable from the violence that King railed against. Maybe the good governor ought to look at the advertising his own state is running constantly to attract businesses to the state with such incentives as ten year tax holidays. In case you haven’t noticed it Governor, a lot of business owners have a conservative streak to them. Removing "Blacks" and "Irish" from the sign below and replacing those words with "Conservatives" makes no sense, no sense at all--Blacks, Irish and Conservatives which may be Blacks and/or Irish cannot be included with our four legged loyal friends.
A Sign For the Times We Must Never Display Again!
When the only people welcome in New York are the liberal left
The expression of ideas buffet is closed down by the political chef
Freedom of ideas withers and dies or is early on subject to theft
If Cuomo really believes that the Conservatives in New York do not belong
Here is a news flash, Governor Cuomo, you are completely wrong!
Most of us do not want to hear the freedom of ideas tune to be a swan song
Surround yourself with those only of the left or only of the right
Watch the autocrats’ rule and freedom flee from sight
You should not try to silence ideas with misguided political might
The human species prospers and flourishes when its diet is more than one class of thought
One view only, left or right, leads not to bloom and growth, only to mental, moral and social
Rethink, Mr. Governor, your attempts to bar will, rightfully so, come to naught.
© January 20, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet