Silent night
© by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Wednesday, December 24, 2014


From “7 O’Clock News/Silent Night,” 1966, by Simon & Garfunkel:


Begins with chorus singing ...

Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, All is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.

Announcer’s voiceover: “This is the early evening edition of the news.

“The recent fight in the House of Representatives was over the open housing section of the Civil Rights Bill ... A compromise was painfully worked out ...

“Dr. Martin Luther King says he does not intend to cancel plans for an open housing march Sunday into the Chicago suburb of Cicero ... police said they would ask the National Guard to be called out if it is held.

“In Washington, the atmosphere was tense today as a special subcommittee of the House Committee on Un-American activities continued its probe into anti-Vietnam war protests. Demonstrators were forcibly evicted from the hearings when they began chanting anti-war slogans ...

“That’s the 7 o’clock edition of the news. Good night.”

Silent night, Holy night, all is calm, all is bright.

Imagine announcer’s voiceover (from actual news coverage), December 2015:

“This is the early evening edition of the news.

“A mostly peaceful Saturday afternoon protest of 30,000 people got messy after sunset as a breakaway group of demonstrators clashed with police on the Brooklyn Bridge and a pair of NYPD lieutenants were assaulted while trying to stop a man from throwing a garbage can onto officers below.” (New York Daily News, Dec. 13)

“Video captured from Saturday’s protests in New York City appeared to show demonstrators apparently calling for the deaths of police officers, hours before violence on the Brooklyn Bridge marred the massive march in protest of police killings of black men, including Eric Garner on Staten Island . . .

“After a few seconds of chanting ‘Hands up, don’t shoot,’ the demonstrators changed their cry, apparently yelling out in unison ‘What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now.’

The protesters repeated the chant for nearly a minute before again changing their cry. (NBC New York Dec. 15)

“Two police officers sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn were shot at point-blank range and killed on Saturday afternoon by a man who, officials said, had traveled to the city from Baltimore vowing to kill officers. The suspect then committed suicide with the same gun, the authorities said.

The officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos ...” (New York Times Dec. 20)

“As Obama civil rights advisor Al Sharpton frantically tries to distance himself from the revenge execution style slayings of two NYPD officers Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn, keep in mind that just one week ago protestors at his march in New York City were chanting, ‘What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!’

“The protesters were part of Al Sharpton’s ‘Million Marchers’ protest against police violence. The protesters chanted ‘What do we want?… Dead cops!’ as they marched in New York City.” (Townhall Dec. 22)

“That’s the 7 o’clock edition of the news. Good night.”

Silent night, Holy night

And if there had been broadcast news at the junction of B.C. and A.D.:

“I bring you good news of great joy ... for today a child is born in Bethlehem in Judea ...

“Rome, under Octavian, is making Judea a Roman province. King Herod has murdered members of his own family and many rabbis, and hearing a rumor of another king being born in Bethlehem, has ordered all boys from that town under 2 years of age to be killed.

“The baby Jesus has escaped with his parents to Egypt...”

Back to December, 2015.

“No, Jews aren’t being physically expelled from Europe, but they are being made to feel unwelcome. Given that most Jews feel affinity with the state of Israel, what must they think when they see parts of Europe being cleansed of all things Israeli? ... And European Jews are voting with their feet. In the first eight months of this year, 4,566 Jews left France for Israel, more than the total number that left in 2013 (3,228). Last year a European Union survey found that 29 percent of Europe’s Jews had considered emigrating because they no longer feel safe.

“BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel) is one of the ugliest political movements of our time. It is shot through with double standards, treating Israel as more wicked than sany other state ... — Brendan O’Neill, online journal Spiked, Dec. 9)

Historical perspective, 2015:

I don’t recall the civil rights and anti-draft protesters of the ’60s calling for “dead cops,” the chant repeated over the over on television news last week. Isn’t inciting to violence a crime?

As for anti-Semitism, the common phrase for decades after we learned about the Holocaust was “never again.”

Well, Martin Luther King’s dream of racial equality came true, even to the election of an American president who is black on his father’s side. Then, the accusation of “racist” became a weapon to use against any critics of the president, and now, look where we are.

However, the dream of peace is still represented, this time of year, by the celebration of Christmas – the birth of a Jewish baby.

Silent night, Holy night.

Merry Christmas to all men of goodwill who dream of peace, fight for freedom, and continue to work for a better world. Best wishes for 2015 to the police who defend us from senseless violence while facing it themselves. Condolences to them on the loss of officers Liu and Ramos.

Barbara Anderson of Marblehead is president of Citizens for Limited Taxation and a Salem News columnist.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her column appears weekly in the Salem News and other Eagle-Tribune newspapers.

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