To the editor:

Contrary to the League of Women Voters’ statement in the Gloucester Daily Times (“Standing against injustice,” June 5), America was not founded on racism but on the principle that we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Like many countries, our country has a problem with racism and once allowed slavery, but it is because of our founding principles that generations of leaders from our Founding Fathers to the present day have sought to correct our problems and build a more just society, which included various legislative attempts to curtail and end slavery, a costly civil war that ended slavery in America, a reconstruction period that empowered African-American voters and even saw many of them elected to Congress in the 1870s, setting the model for African- American elected leadership today, which saw bipartisan support for civil rights legislation in the 1960s, and twice elected African-American President Barack Obama just several years ago. A country that was founded on racism could not have done all these things.

What happened to George Floyd was absolutely despicable and the police officer in question deserves to be prosecuted on murder charges. Nobody disagrees with that. But it is not America that is based on racism, but rather groups like Antifa, which have exploited this tragedy to promote further racial division in our society, and promoted the riots and looting that have taken place across the country.

In Minneapolis, not far from where George Floyd was murdered, black and minority-owned businesses were looted and destroyed by riots generated by Antifa. In addition, several African-Americans have been killed in the riots, including: Dave Patrick Underwood, who was killed in Oakland, Calif.; David Dorn, 77-year-old retired police captain, shot and killed by pawn shop looters; Halia Marie Kelly, a biracial woman of 22, killed in a random shooting as she was leaving a protest in Davenport, Iowa; David McAtee, in Louisville, Kentucky, during the riots; and Chris Beaty, a real estate broker and former football player, shot and killed during riots in Indianapolis, Indiana. Groups like the League of Women Voters and Black Lives Matter refuse to hold these Antifa groups morally accountable when they infiltrate peaceful protests and cause these riots — instead many of these peaceful protesters just stand idly by while these looters destroy businesses and lives, while fires burn churches and storefronts.

While America has its problems, we are founded on the ideal of life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, while groups like Antifa are founded on the idea of larceny, lawlessness, and the pursuit of power through exploitation of tragedy and destruction of people and property.

Jonathan Ring

Rockport

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