Support Cannot Be Blind: Dueling Charleston Rallies

Every parade is a law enforcement support rally. Every time a cop turns on their sirens and lights is a law enforcement support rally. The person who decided to set this up a week before Labor Day at the Coles County Courthouse I’m sure was well intentioned but lacks a longterm view of both the present and our shared history. 

They also neglected to examine the calendar. September 19th, 2020 is National Tell a Police Officer “Thank You” Day. Wouldn’t that have been an ideal day for this rally? This is how we know that the rally really wasn’t about supporting law enforcement at all but about someone else’s political agenda. We also have National Police Week in May and National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day in January.

Other alternatives exist. It is easy to be manipulated in such a polarized and politically toxic environment, especially when community members won’t stand up and tell them when something isn’t a net positive for our community or for the rally’s assumed objectives. 

I feel for members of the community that get sucked into being the mouthpieces in that machine that would prefer altercation and confrontation over resolution and progress for every person. It is too easy to manipulate people by using the shield of the church and law enforcement. It’s why criminals seek out positions in these organizations in order to not be questioned by their victims. They need blind cover while they commit crimes.

I’m happy and supportive of the young activists that took the lead in responding to this political theatre. They did not create it, but circumstances and principles required them to stand up and speak out during such a critical time when personal and civil liberties are on the line and the ballot.

It is time to inform our passions. Blindly following those who say they are on your side has not achieved many results for any of our rural communities. And, the consequences of failure are mounting, becoming more grim every single day we do not stand up with a sincere and focused will as a culture and a people. 

We deserve better. We have to demand that first of ourselves. 

(Photos: Dave Fopay, JG-TC)


After researching, there is no connection between the BLM rally and the EIU BLM chapter.