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Hong Kong demonstrated for freedom, so why didn’t Florida? | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Wednesday’s letters to the editor.
Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a news conference at the Polk County Sheriff's Office in Winter Haven on Monday, surrounded by law enforcement, legislators, and police union representatives, holding up the bill he signed to create tougher penalties for people who participate in violent protests. (Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a news conference at the Polk County Sheriff's Office in Winter Haven on Monday, surrounded by law enforcement, legislators, and police union representatives, holding up the bill he signed to create tougher penalties for people who participate in violent protests. (Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel via AP) [ RICARDO RAMIREZ BUXEDA | AP ]
Published Apr. 21
Updated Apr. 21

Another assault on our Constitution

DeSantis signs ‘anti-riot’ legislation in Polk County | April 20

Reading about this new piece of legislation, I realized that Florida was adopting the same rules that China was imposing on the citizens of Hong Kong. The only difference was the reaction of the citizens. In Hong Kong, a million people took to the streets in protest. Florida held a celebration to commend the Republicans for yet another assault on our Constitution.

John Mason, Clearwater

Law and order

DeSantis signs ‘anti-riot’ legislation in Polk County | April 20

Thank you, Gov. Ron DeSantis for signing the “anti-riot” bill in Florida. How can anyone think this legislation opposes our rights to peacefully assemble, carry signs and voice our views? When someone, I don’t care the color of your skin, bangs on a police car, throws bottles at the men and women in blue or feels they have a right to entitlement to loot people’s hard-earned businesses, we have a problem. I hope that other governors have the guts to follow suit. I hope the governor runs for president in 2024.

Kathryn Hartman, Silver Springs, N.Y.

1,000 words

DeSantis signs ‘anti-riot’ legislation in Polk County | April 20

The photo op of Gov. Ron DeSantis surrounded by middle-age white men signing the “anti-riot” bill reminds me of the old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Eileen Stafford, St. Petersburg

Newspeak is bad

Biden officials ban ‘illegal alien’ phrase | April 20

The novel 1984 by George Orwell was first published in 1949. It should be required reading especially today since the Biden administration has now started to ban words. The similarities of what is happening right now today in our country and what was portrayed in the novel are chilling. In the novel, Big Brother is always watching. Today we have surveillance cameras, cell phone cameras and satellites watching us 24/7. In the novel Orwell created a language specifically for his dystopian world. It was called Newspeak. Newspeak was used to reduce the meaning of language, thus antonyms, synonyms and so on were outlawed and made obsolete and an unnecessary part of the dystopian world’s language. The opposite of “good” was “ungood.” The language was restricted and watered down to the point where the Party controlled what you could say and, as a result, controlled how and what you thought. From the beginning of time, language has molded our hearts and minds. The Biden administration is now trying to manipulate and control our minds by changing the language that has been used for decades.

Mark Khan, Tampa

Don’t divide us

Final act in trial over George Floyd’s death | April 20

Last weekend in Minnesota, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters urged demonstrators “to get more confrontational” if Derek Chauvin is acquitted in his trial over the killing of George Floyd. She also said they must “stay in the street” and “fight for justice.” These comments were so controversial, Judge Peter Cahill said Waters may have given the defense grounds for an appeal and could result in the trial being overturned. I’m not a legal expert so I can’t say much about Cahill’s troubling observation, but I can say this to Waters: You can’t have it both ways! You can’t condemn former President Donald Trump for trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election and inciting the Capitol insurrection if you yourself are trying to coerce the jurors into finding Chauvin guilty and inciting violence if the outcome of the jury isn’t what you want. After watching much of the trial on television, I think Chauvin is guilty of murder. But I respect the judicial branch of government, and I trust that the jury will do the right thing in determining the verdict. Inflammatory comments are not helpful; they are divisive and dangerous.

Henry J. Weese, Palm Harbor