Hate is not welcome here
Our collective national attention has been consumed by the appalling behavior and rhetoric in Charlottesville, motivated by hatred and bigotry. We should not forget, though, that in our community we have recently brushed with the same dangerous ideology and behavior that should have already been relegated to the shadows of history. On one recent night a synagogue was defaced with anti-Semitic symbols and property was marred with a racist slur.
This week we learned that the white nationalist hate group (according to SPLC) VDARE had planned a conference in our community. For 25 years Citizens Project has been challenging the Pikes Peak region's national reputation as a place in which discrimination and bigotry are tolerated. We know this reputation to be false. Citizens Project is heartened by the strong community response, peacefully denouncing hate. In the public outcry following these two events, many in the community boldly declared, "We will not tolerate hate in our city!" The exclusionary ideas that led to these events are not the values of our community and this month we came together in action. Citizens Project is now proudly challenging the assumed narrative on billboards across the region. "Bravery NOT Bigotry." "Welcoming NOT Walls." "Diversity NOT Discrimination." Those are the values of the Pikes Peak region.
Deb Walker and Citizens Project
Say no to recreational marijuana
Once again our City Council representative, Jill Gaebler is in the news, this time trying to convince the people of Colorado Springs that the legalization of the sales of recreational marijuana is a good thing. Wasn't it just a couple months ago that she was trying to get "open carry alcohol" passed. She states that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol. Do you have facts to back that up?
Jill claims that it would basically do away with the black market sellers. Are you serious, you think they are just going to walk away. We have teachers out east considering arming themselves because of the nearness of a drug cartel to their school. She also talks about the economic boost it would be to this community. Well, what about the destructiveness of drugs to families, to children. The children will be the ones to suffer the most. Jill, why don't you try doing something that will benefit this community, not hurt it.
To all the good people of Colorado Springs, please get out and vote no on this issue in November. The cost of human lives much more important than the mighty dollar.
Quintessence of 'Southern' heritage
At least one good thing has come of the terrorist attack at the racist rally in Charlottesville: the application for a September rally in Richmond at a statue of Robert E. Lee has been withdrawn. In withdrawing the request, Bragdon Bowling said, "Our purpose is to save monuments, not be engaged in social and racial issues."
I am personally nominating this statement for a Doublethink Award. These monuments, after all, are all about "social and racial issues."
Robert E. Lee, and all other Confederate soldiers, levied war on the United States in defense of white supremacy and the institution of slavery. As Alexander Stephens, who became Jefferson Davis' vice president said in his "Cornerstone Speech" on March 21, 1861,
"Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth."
This is the quintessence of "Southern heritage." Even the Southern Baptist Church has endeavored to renounce its role as a religious bulwark of this "heritage."
It is said that you can know a tree by its fruit. The nature of the cause celebrated in monuments to the Confederacy is manifest in its celebrants: Nazis and racists of many stripes are irresistibly attracted to these monuments. These reminders of a past evil have become a focus of evil in the present.
Important educational requirement
This is in response to The Gazette's Viewpoint: "CU may soon require learning Constitution." (Sunday, Aug. 20)
In 1959 as a 12th grade student in an Illinois public high school I was required to complete a semester's study of United States Government.
I then had to pass a state-wide exam on The American Constitution and Government. The Gazette Editorial Board is urging Colorado University students to exhibit a mandatory knowledge of The American Constitution.
Why do we have to wait until young adults are in college?
It appears to me that a soon-to-be high school graduate should be required to show his/her competency regarding The American Constitution/Government as an important requirement toward receiving a high school diploma in Colorado.
Nancy Olson Loveall
Best response to hateful events
I just want to express appreciation for Henry Allen's guest opinion piece in Friday's Gazette. He didn't hesitate to call out far-left thugs for their violence as well as condemning racists on the other side of the Charlottesville debacle.
There are many voices trying to put the leftists on some kind of moral high ground for taking 'direct action', a euphemism for beating up those they disagree with. Allen rightly points out the racist elements had First Amendment right to their protest. The best response to such hateful events is for good-hearted people to shake our heads and laugh at them together. Violent reaction is to them as fertilizer to weeds; they thrive on it. Lets not give them the satisfaction.
H. Wayne Hall