Fearmongering About Looting and Rioting in Putnam is Divisive Rhetoric

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Last week, Kathlyn Messina wrote that “looting and mayhem…is not acceptable to the mothers of Putnam County who want their children safe. That is why they will vote for Trump.” (“Those Who Attended Putnam’s Back the Blue Rally Are Patriots, Not Racists.”)

Ms. Messina’s letter confused me on a few counts.

  1. She says there is no such thing as a “Trump Militia,” when the speech she talks about enthusiastically attending identified attendees as members of “Trump’s military.” Militia members were just arrested in Michigan over a violent plot to kidnap the governor, who was vilified by Trump. He continued to target Gov. Whitmer on Twitter after this plot was revealed, which does not seem like a good way to encourage law and order.
  2. I am a mother in Putnam County. Like all mothers, including mothers of Black and brown children in our county and elsewhere, I want my children to be safe.
    This is one major reason that I am voting for Joe Biden. Ms. Messina and others talk about looting and rioting and “rich white kids beating up people in the streets.” I have not heard of a single instance of this in Putnam County. The weekly Black Lives Matter rallies in Carmel were organized by a diverse group of young Putnam County residents. You might not, for some reason, agree with their desire for racial equity, but they have certainly never been violent. Rather, they have been targets of threats and intimidation by people riled up by divisive rhetoric.
    It is this kind of talk, the us versus them, the fearmongering about rioting and uncredited Facebook posts about “Antifa comrades” chartering buses to terrorize Brewster (seriously) that make all of our children less safe. The Putnam County moms I know and love, myself included, take the safety and well-being of all of our children into account when we vote. And we do vote.
  1. Ms. Messina does not seem to be a registered voter in Putnam County. Perhaps she is the one who is confused.

Katherine O’Sullivan

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