On July 4, St. Anthony Park typically looks and sounds like an idyllic Norman Rockwell picture, come to life. As a neighborhood, we are celebrating and affirming the traditional American values of freedom, equality, faith and loyalty to our national vision of unity arising from diversity — “E pluribus unum.” 

We had a warm, sunny day for 2019’s 4th in The Park parade. But as I turned to walk down Knapp Place to Langford Park, a chilling sight caught my attention. Stuck on a car window was a prominent decal promoting the extremist slogan “molon labe,” printed in stylized Greek lettering. Why did that sticker alarm me? Because I recognized it as the devise-du-jour of the ultra-rightist cult of gun fanatics or, as they should be called, the gun fetishists.

Seeing that bloodthirsty motto openly brandished in SAP was a bad omen. And it seems we’ve watched constant gun-massacre news stories without letup all through July and August.

Our community, our country are under siege from “the terrorists next door,” and no place is exempt.

Obviously, the right thing to do now is to rally around and face down fear. Uncle Sam needs millions of authentic patriots to dispel the false allure of belligerent nationalism.

Your first duty is to become better informed: Visit the web sites for the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League and learn to recognize the slogans, symbols, and propaganda used to promote their vicious doctrines and sinister organizations. 

Refuse to be intimidated. Heed the words attributed to Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

—Oliver Steinberg
St. Anthony Park

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