There’s nothing like a holiday for looking back and recalling where we came from, but on this particular Labor Day it’s a bit discomforting to watch the news and wonder where we’re heading.

Indeed, it’s been a brutal weekend for celebrating values and it’s not over yet.

Saturday’s cancellation of the Caribbean Carnival in Cambridge, acquiescing to menacing fears of gang violence, while here across the river four Boston cops were hurt trying to keep enraged protesters from attacking participants in the Straight Pride Parade, was enough to break the heart of anyone harboring a fondness for civil obedience.

Those lowlifes who reveled in the ruination of other people’s revelry should never have been empowered by the timidity of Cambridge authorities. Employing what could be called the Malcolm X approach, those in charge should have summoned whatever reinforcements were needed to vanquish the bad guys by any means necessary, the way many communities are now pooling resources to eradicate mosquitoes spreading the lethal Triple E virus.

Individuals or insects, they’re all threats to the public.

By cowering, Cambridge officials empowered barbaric predators, emboldening them rather than moving toward eliminating them.

Do they really think that makes Cantabrigians more secure?

Meanwhile, back on the streets of Boston, those who imagine they somehow covered themselves in glory by shouting down the voices of others did nothing of the sort. All they did was display how jarringly ignorant they are of what free speech really means.

Free speech certainly doesn’t refer to them or their tactics.

Disagree with someone’s opinion? No problem.

Disavow it? Fine.

But disallow it? Absolutely not.

Why is that so hard to understand?

There was a time when the public square was regarded as a marketplace of ideas, a place to hopefully change some minds, maybe even enlighten others.

Like Labor Day, which recalls strides that have been made by workers through the years, a parade can also bring history to life, focusing on how far a movement has come while recognizing how far it yet has to go.

That’s what’s made this a very disheartening weekend.

A movement that once pleaded for tolerance has now become the most intolerant movement of all, and to prove it all you have to do is resist or disagree with anything it has to say.

What an unattractive quality that is.

If you’re keeping score, the Sox are losing and so are we, though there is a big difference.

In our case, it’s more a matter of forfeiting, which is why it was the jerks taking all the bows this weekend.


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