Route 9 Protesters, Please Take Down That Flag — No One Likes It
I'm fed up with having to drive my young son past angry people who have no respect for the rest of the Hudson Valley.
Let me start by saying that this isn't political. I have no problem with people using their first amendment rights to say whatever it is they want to say. This has nothing to do with the message these protesters are trying to get across. It has everything to do with the way they're going about vocalizing that message.
You may have driven past some very loud protesters who have made their home on Route 9 in Poughkeepsie near the South Hills Mall. For years, this intersection has been the site of all sorts of political protests and demonstrations. On the Raymour and Flanigan side, there is a group of older veterans who put up their flags and signs and wave at traffic every Saturday afternoon. Across the way, another group has emerged with huge banners, a megaphone and some vulgar flags and language that I think has no place in our community.
The protesters are obviously very angry about a number of things. Most of their hatred is aimed at the president, which is a time-honored tradition in America. For as long as we've had presidents, we've had people who hated the president. That's one of the things that makes this country great; the ability to talk smack about the guy in charge.
The problem I and many other people have with the protesters on Route 9 is the language they're using in their protest. A huge flag is being flown above all others (including the American flag, which is terribly unpatriotic by the way) that says "F--- Biden." Only, the sign doesn't bother to bleep out the F-word.
If the flag wasn't bad enough, there's also an angry woman on the megaphone yelling the F-word at cars as they drive by, hoping to elicit honks and encouragement from like-minded people.
Because this is at one of the busiest intersections in the Hudson Valley, our family is just one of the thousands that have to drive by several times each week, subjecting our kids to seeing and hearing the F-word.
I've been hesitant to talk about this on my radio show for a while because people have become so political and tend to get very angry at even the mention of politics. But this has bothered me so much that I felt I had to get it off my chest. What happened next took me completely by surprise.
Our phone lines blew up from other Hudson Valley residents, both with and without children, who were also outraged about the language being used by these protesters. It turns out that I'm not alone. In fact, out of the hundreds of calls and messages we received, there wasn't one single person who agreed that flying a flag with the F-word on Route 9 was a good idea.
It's very heartening to hear that most people are like me. Unable to stop and say something, we just drive past feeling disappointed by people in our community who have decided to show disrespect for our flag and our families.
Well, consider this my official response.
To the people protesting on Route 9, I agree 100% with your ability to make your voice heard. It's your American right to say whatever it is you want to say about our government. It's not cool, however, to do it in a way that disrespects our children and families. I'm not alone on this. So please, for the majority of the Hudson Valley that wants to live in a civilized community, can you please refrain from yelling the F-word at our cars as we drive by and take down that flag with the F-word on it? I don't care if you want to F- Biden, F-Trump or F- Will Smith. If your objective is to gain support for whatever cause it is that you're yelling about, the vulgar message is not helping. In fact, it's turning people against you even before hearing what you have to say.
PS: Any patriotic American knows that no flag should be flown higher than the American flag. If you refuse to take down your F-word flag, at least stop flying it above the American flag and show respect for our country and those who fought for your freedom to yell curse words at kids.
Come on Hudson Valley. We can do better than this!
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