RON SCHALOW: Wes Belter Smears Jim Shaw To Discredit Black Lives Matter

It was a feeble attempt at a rhetorical bank shot.

Former majority leader and speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives Wes Belter — a big deal — went on a Trumpist rager under a false premise to reiterate Donald Trump’s sermon on the mount for those who didn’t get the racist message.

Belter’s entire op-ed was exceedingly consistent in dishonesty from top to bottom, so let’s just start with the first sentence and work our way down to the bottom of the barrel:

  • “So, Jim Shaw is going to solve racial discrimination and injustice by changing the name of Fargo’s Woodrow Wilson High School,” writes Wes Belter in a Fargo Forum op-ed titled “Shaw’s purge of history.”

Except Shaw never claimed to be solving “racial discrimination and injustice.” Leading with a lie is a bold move, even for a Trump Republican.

Besides that, Belter, who presumably read Jim Shaw’s “It’s time for the Woodrow Wilson name to go” column, learned more about President Wilson in that short period than he ever deduced by staring at a school building for any amount of time. Shaw’s a terrible purger.

And Belter never even bothers to defend Wilson. His letter smells fishy right through the computer screen.

Belter continues;

  • “Princeton University is going to remove Wilson’s name, but Shaw you have a problem.”

Hmm, I don’t think Shaw is the one with the problem. I actually read Belter’s retort to Shaw’s column and they didn’t match up.

Shaw hit a thought-provoking triple and Belter climbs into the right-field stands to fight with the beer guy.

Anyway, the Speaker persists with:

  • “The forces that wish to remove monuments and names are not just after Wilson.”

Perhaps Belter’s “forces” is his code for black people — it’s not a good code — who have been wrongfully oppressed for hundreds of years. Or perhaps Belter has a vivid imagination.

“They …” Millions of black people and their supporters of every race, if he wanted to be technical. “… have a long list like Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Madison and more.”

What list? Who has the list? Just believe him. “They” have a list.


  • “If Roosevelt must be removed from the New York Museum of Natural History, must we also change the name of Theodore Roosevelt National Park?”

The museum moved Teddy for a reason that has nothing to do with the park, so no.


  • “There goes the Roosevelt Library planned for Medora.”



  • “Where does this end?”

That’s the beauty of the future.


  • “While Shaw seems to put a great deal of energy into research to justify the elimination of monuments and namesakes …”

The Representative likes Shaw’s splendid research and then he simply lies. His sentence fell apart after that.

  • “… he closes his eyes to the radicals who burn, loot, assault and kill, and have hijacked the legitimate concerns of the Black Lives Matter Movement.”

Belter doesn’t know what kind of politics a looter has or anything about Shaw’s eyes.

  • “… have hijacked the legitimate concerns of the Black Lives Matter Movement.”

Nobody has hijacked anything.


Who with BLM has had anything to do with any killing? Belter might be thinking about “Unite the Right” and the Tiki torch boys.


  • “What is incredible about this anarchy in America, it has no opposition from the Democratic Party and the national news media’s silence on this is deafening.”

So now we have organized anarchists? No, we don’t, but if he had just read what the police and the experts have to say, Belter should know that the looters and firebugs aren’t often affiliated with the peaceful demonstrators.

And people are being arrested. What more does Belter want? He can try to blame the people in favor of racial equality for a thing that didn’t happen — actually he successfully did that … oh, never mind.


  • “It amounts to tacit approval for the destruction of our cities.”

Speaker Belter keeps his silence about the explosive Bakken oil trains which “amounts to tacit approval for the destruction of our cities.” Also, what did Shaw’s column have to do with the Democrats and WB’s poor hearing?


  • “The destruction of monuments is not about ending racism or discrimination.”

Racism and discrimination are involved, but nobody said a few less Confederate symbols would end “racism or discrimination.”


  • “It is about the destruction of this country and our representative democracy.”

No, it isn’t. Good gosh. Conspiracy theories from the speaker?


  • “What is happening here has happened in Russian, China, North Korea, Venezuela, and today in Hong Kong to name a few.”

What’s happening? Trump is in love with Kim Jong-un. He’s scared of Putin. And not many Americans want the people of Hong Kong to be less free.


“Changing the names or destroying the monuments will not satisfy the street violent crowd, nor will it do anything to eliminate discrimination or racism.”

There is no continuous “street violent crowd” on duty and nobody said that one single thing would “eliminate discrimination or racism.”


  • “Shaw and his progressive media friends have been blessed with freedom of the press and have become “useful pawns that have become complicit in the destruction of America.”

That’s just silly and disturbing to know some people believe the content of Trump’s racist reelection plan.


  • “There is a saying, ‘You study history so you don’t repeat it.’”

That’s not the saying.


  • “Shaw’s idea to destroy history is misguided, and as responsible citizens we have a duty to preserve our history and speak up against the violence on the streets.”

Shaw has no idea to destroy history and he’s not the one trying to merge the violence with the free-standing Black Lives Matter movement. Objective people know the difference.


  • “Shaw’s purge on history falls into the hands of those who have vowed to ‘burn our system down.’

Shaw isn’t purging history and nothing has fallen into anybody’s hands.


  • “We as a free people, regardless of our political affiliation, must stand up against the violence of the leftist movement.”

Why does Belter think that racial equality is a leftist movement? Most Americans support the idea, but it shouldn’t even matter. All Americans should be protected by the Constitution, but as long as some aren’t, we should never stop trying to balance the scales.


  • “Let us never forget, despite our shortfalls, this country is the destination points for freedom seeking people throughout the world.”

Shaw never said otherwise.


  • “We cannot fail to be a nation of law and order.”

There a lot of concerns involving law and order where can find actual failures. But Belter, like Trump, is laser-focused on discrediting protesters exercising their First Amendments rights as Americans.


  • “Fifteen hundred business were burned in Minneapolis because the city’s mayor and Minnesota’s governor failed to exercise their constitutional oath.”

Fifteen hundred businesses were not burned in Minneapolis.


  • “During the Fourth of July weekend, New York City, 41 shot, 6 dead; Chicago, 76 shot, 14 dead; Atlanta, 28 shot, four dead; and Cleveland, 20 shot 3 dead, none dealing with cops, many of them are children and Shaw in The Forum chooses to write about changing the name of Fargo’s Woodrow Wilson High School. Shameful,”

Too many people die of gun violence every day, but the demonstrations for racial justice had nothing to do with the holiday deaths. The near-constant gang-on-gang violence in Chicago, for example, is partly fueled by guns smuggled across state lines, not politics.

President Trump said he could fix the gun violence in Chicago “immediately” many times in the last four years, but he hasn’t. In Chicago or any other city.


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