In response to the article “Couple’s pride flogs targeted for repeated theft” in the Sept. 14 issue of the Rio Rancho Observer:

My heart lurches, my stomach churns and my brain explodes at the site of Trump banners and American flags flying together in yards and on truck beds driving over our streets. Still, I don’t think to walk up and rip those banners out of the ground or off those trucks. Why? Because it would not be right to do so. Do you get it? Do you understand?

Acknowledging and codifying civil rights for women, African Americans, Jews, Asians, immigrated populations of every stripe and LGBTQIA+ peoples is not a threat to anyone, except those people who cannot see the right of it. To those people, I say, it is not a restraint on your right to be who you are, but it is a restraint on you acting out your bias, bigotry and hate on other people. That is what seems too much for some.

“I disagree with you, so why can’t I degrade you?” “I feel uncomfortable with you, so why can’t I assault you?” “I hate you, so why can’t I hurt you?”

What gives you the idea that it is all right for you to steal, burn, deface or in any way trespass onto a property, someone’s home, flying a banner or flag you dislike and rip it down? Do you feel angry? Do you feel threatened? Do you feel justified by a personal repulsiveness?

I really don’t care what you feel. Nothing, and I mean nothing, vindicates your actions. It is wrong, and that’s the truth of it.

And while I’m at it, to the parents of the teenagers suspected in the incident, if you advocate parental rights, I apply parental responsibility. Do you suppose, if your children act in a criminal manner, they are immune to consequences? Who would you blame? Someone else?

Criminal trespass can go very wrong, and it’s up to all of us to avoid heartbreaking tragedies. I advocate teaching our children kindness and respect for others. How about you?

Tim Berger

Rio Rancho