Letter to the Editor: A SKELETON IN THE CLOSET

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Dear Editor:
Our city officials and the local clergy have had ample time to deal with the obscene flag flying beside the Perry Plaza. If they fail to address the problem soon, I’m going to write every newspaper within a 300-mile radius. This is what I’m going to say.
“This letter is based on a simple principle: Conservatives have to own what they condone.
If you’re thinking about visiting Perryville, Missouri, to see the beautiful Lady of the Barrens grotto, don’t stop there, come to town, check out the Republican cussing class on Kingshighway, two-tenths of a mile west of the Immanuel Lutheran Church.
If you’re thinking about visiting our Veterans Memorial, you’ll be a hop and a skip from the Conservative effort to build vocabulary through vulgarity, just across from the Perry Plaza (63775).
Cussing class runs 24/7, but the best time to observe the phenomena is on a weekday morning about 7:20, when children line up before the four-letter word to catch the school-bus. Linger, count the yellow buses passing by. Ponder the paradox of teaching children the importance of rules at school while coming and going they learn that Republicans are not bound by common-sense restraints.
If you visit the Memorial after class, there’s another paradox to ponder. A majority of this monument building community voted for a man who stood before a Wolrd War II battleground graveyard, referring to the heroes beneath the cross as ‘suckers and losers.’
Lie many southern towns, Perryville has a skeleton in its closet. Local yokels will tell you that there was a time when a black man could not safely walk the streets of this municipality after dark.
As the son of a World War II veteran, ‘a ramblin’ wreck from Bradley tech’, according to his favorite barracks ballad, I’m here to tell you that there was a time when a draft dodger who maligned the service of our WW2 troops would not have been safe to walk the streets of this town, day or night!”
Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holms outlines the limits of freedom of speech when he argued that it was improper to shout, “Fire!” in a crowded theatre. Holms knew that it was the listener, not the loudmouth, who was likely to be trampled.
So it is on Kingshighway. There the young viewer who misinterprets the boundaries of acceptable behavior, not the proud teacher, who will get stepped on.
Sometimes a message tells us more about the messenger than the meaning of his words. Demanding center stage, Donald Trumpt fumbled the great advantage of incumbency, blowing his chance for re-election, when he promoted the Lysol high-ball as a cure for Covid. The next time you have the Big Apple heir whimpers in about the so-called “steal”, remember, you have a First Amendment right to laugh.
Never mind city officials. Never mind local clergy. Being curse by a Trump Conservative is a compliment, high praise.
Jesse Laurentius,
Perryville

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