By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Crowd gathers in support of peace, respect for all

Starla Pointer / News-Register##Participants in an impromptu peace and diversity rally wave a passing traffic Friday morning.
Starla Pointer / News-Register##Participants in an impromptu peace and diversity rally wave a passing traffic Friday morning.
Starla Pointer / News-Register##A participant holds a sign promoting tolerance.
Starla Pointer / News-Register##A participant holds a sign promoting tolerance.

Supporters of peace and respect stood alongside Adams Street near the McMinnville Public Library Friday morning, holding signs such as "Love Trumps Hate" and "Diversity" and "Hate Has No Home Here."

Many drivers honked and waved as they passed the impromptu rally.

"Whoo!" the crowd of mostly women cried, waving back. "Whoo!"

"It's a scary time. It's a time for people who've remained quiet to make a statement," said Cassie Sollars, who promoted the rally on her Facebook page.

She said she had the idea after the violence at an alt-right, white power rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. "It made me feel both helpless and like I wanted to do something to make a difference," she said.

Hate and intolerance have always existed, she said, but these days it seems like haters feel empowered. But they shouldn't think they have permission to spew hate. "I want them to get that message," she said.

By the 9:30 a.m. starting time, two dozen people had joined Sollars on the sidewalk. Many brought signs or wore T-shirts with messages such as "Choose to be Nice."

Brian Altree, who carried an American flag, said he heard about the rally and decided to bring his son. "In the current political climate, it's good to have some positive vibes," he said.

Jocela Mae Crawford also had a version of the flag -- a red, white and blue sign with stripes on which she'd written, "Jewish Mexican American."

"I want to remind the community that we are many and we are one, we are human," she said.

Not everyone lives in a place where they are free to hold a rally expressing their opinions, she said. "It's important to use my priviledge" to speak up, she said.

Crawford said she also wanted to make people smile. And one way she did that was to bring her daughters: Ember, 2 1/2, and Senan, 11 weeks. "This is Senan's first peaceful protest," her mother said. "It's Ember's third."

Jan Houghton, who wore the "Nice" shirt, said choosing kindness isn't difficult -- and it's important. "We can't overcome violence with violence," she said.

Another participant, Carol Posey, said she put the lesson about niceness to work when she was a customer service manager. "The nicer to are to people, eventually it calms them down and makes them think," she said.

Posey and Houghton both said they were heartened to see their fellow residents stand up in support of kindness and diversity, especially given the current political climate. "I feel so helpless in the face of all this anger and hate talk led by the leaders in Washington, D.C.," she said.

Sollars agreed. She said she would be happy if passersby noticed the peaceful rally and thought about the messages on the signs.

"If it just raises consciousness ..." she said. "If it lets people know that bigotry and racism just can't be tolerated."

 

 

 

Comments

macgreg

Sounds great

country97

Bravo. In a celebration of progressive diversity people are acting to topple statues that are offensive. Time to remove the statue of the "Circuit Rider" on the state capitol grounds.

Don Dix

Is it now the vogue to remove or destroy all statues and monuments (re: reminders) that no longer fit into a constantly narrowing 'political correctness'? Who decides what goes or stays -- the feds -- the states -- municipalities -- me -- my neighbor? Where does it end?

Removal might assuage unpleasant or uncomfortable feelings, but there is one element that all these structures have in common -- U.S. history. Protests and rallies can accomplish many desires, but is this also an attempt to rewrite U.S. history? To many, that might be considered a form of censorship, which in some cases is just as offensive (to others) as bigotry and racism. Again, where does it end?

Horse with no name

Dix - where does it end you ask. It doesn't end, its life, good and bad all stirred together. Slavery ended, women got the vote, where does it end. It never ends. You strive for the good, you backslide into the bad.

It's good to remember history; we don't want to forget the good or the bad so hopefully it guides our path in the future. You can put all the traitorous flags and statues in a museum along with the pictures of lynched innocents. There is no good reason to make believe it should be part of our present goals or has any moral equivalence with good. Guilt and shame should stay attached to evil of the past.

The beautiful statues you and Trump appear to long for are symbols of what the traitors and losers erected when Jim Crow was blooming and when civil rights were being fought and died for. You bet its history, ugly history, and that should never be forgotten or given any credence as a model for living life. Confederate history is the same as Nazi history; it’s not some wonderful heritage to be longed for again.

Implying the poor Confederates or Nazi's are being censored or stifled from their rights is like saying oh the poor murderer can't murder any more. You can't make moral equivalents where none exist.

country97

Horse With No Name - The time is now for erasing slave owning George Washington's name from the list of those signing the constitution and his image from our currency. Thomas Jefferson owned hundreds of slaves. Both are candidates for expunging from our psyche.

Horse with no name

country97 - False equivalence doesn't get you there. Take another run at it with something that is relevant or just admit and stand up for your true feelings, without the little alt-right dance.

Don Dix

Horse -- First, is it your narrow PC attitude that persuades you to lump all who ask reasonable, yet pointed questions into a frame to which you reject (Trump, alt-right, etc.)? The election was over 9 months ago.

Facts matter, so here are a few -- 18 former Presidents owned slaves, including Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, etc.

Throughout history, the Ds pushed slavery. The R party primarily was formed to thwart slavery. The KKK was a primary arm of the Southern D party during that era. And the Ds erected those statues of Jefferson Davis, General Lee and the such.

Lincoln (R) was against slavery, while his V.P Johnson (D) was in favor.

President Eisenhower (R) integrated the military and promoted civil rights for minorities (1957). His primary opponent in that quest was Senator Lyndon Johnson (D), a segregationist.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was supported by more Rs than Ds in both houses of Congress.

What does all this say? Historical facts and events don't lie or obscure the truth of the matter. If you are, as I suspect, a D, then quit 'acting' as if your political stance is not tarnished by those who molded it. Physical reminders (those 'traitorous flags, statues, monuments') can certainly be destroyed, but that won't eliminate who is responsible for what, when, and why.

Treehouse

Weren't Jefferson and Washington long dead by the time of the Slave State Rebellion? It's hard to speculate about such things, but is it really plausible to argue that Washington and Jefferson would have joined in the Pro-Slavery Rebellion against the union?
I find this a very speculative and unpersuasive argument in favor of preserving public monuments that valorize slavery and treason.

Horse with no name

Dix - well you've deployed a lot of flares and chaff as usual instead of confronting the here and now and exactly where you stand. What you call my "narrow PC attitude", I prefer to think of as focus. If you focus on what I wrote, you don't see the word "destroy" referring to anything, either an idea or a physical object.

I did say it is good to remember history. It’s not about removing anything as opposed to keeping it in perspective; in its proper place. If there is any re-branding going on, it appears to be with the latest marketing of the alt-right. You can put a new name on it, maybe it will be the neo-alt-right next week, doesn't matter, the actions are the same, hate and intolerance based on the stupidest of reasons.

Do you think the majority of German people want statutes of Adolf Hitler in their government buildings and parks? Why would you think Americans would be any different about unsavory parts of our history? The Germans don’t want to forget or have their history reinterpreted either. Is it that you can only see everything as either an 'R' or a 'D', which translate to good and bad?

What is so upsetting to you about calling out Confederate's and Nazi's for their ideas and actions? You think you can wave a Confederate or Nazi flag and call yourself a patriot?

My response to you that it will never end remains the same. Traitors and criminals should never be allowed to be normalized in our society. They are to be remembered as the model of what not to be.

Let's try to focus on "all who ask reasonable, yet pointed questions" What is the point of your “when will it end” question?

Don Dix

Horse -- Your 'focus' seems to be on Hitler and the Nazis -- I could care less what the Germans think or do about their 'historical reminders'.

I watch as the Ds and Rs clash over monuments, statues, and ideology -- one side plans a march or rally (for whatever cause) and by coincidence the other also has an event for the same day? Hardly coincidental! Both factions strive for the predictable confrontations, usually with destructive and harmful results!

These clashes are not productive, and only inflame the next encounter. How does that create anything but division?

It is quite simple to see who fans the flames (both ways) when one's pony in the race is the U.S., sans a D or R on the saddle cloth. And there seems no explanation as to how anyone's life actually changes with or without statues, etc.

Respect for differing opinions has been riding in the back seat for some time, while ideology and disobedience man the wheel. It's a tired, sick, unproductive drama, but I'm sure some revel in it!

Horse with no name

Dix - I was talking about Confederates and Nazi's. Do you think you can wave a Confederate flag and be an American patriot? Why is it difficult to answer that question?

There's a difference between dissent and treason. Your upset appears to be over competing demonstrations over political ideals. There were plenty of harsh demonstrations regarding women getting the right to vote. Ask the women you know if they think it was worth it.

Ending demonstrations, ending the correction of wrong doing, what is it you want to end that will bring you peace?

If you can't answer whether you can be a patriot and wave a Confederate or Nazi flag or not, I'm betting we don't get a definitive answer from "all who ask reasonable, yet pointed questions".

Last chance, what is the point of your "when will it end" question?

Don Dix

Horse -- Really, you're drawing a line now? Wow! Has it ever occurred (to you) that possibly those type of pronouncements might be fuel for those confrontations?

I think it's a waste of resources when the policing agencies must respond. Millions ($), just because slanted ideology is driven by the selfish (both Ds & Rs).

Destruction of any public property is a crime against all, yet the sideline rooters pick a side and question the actions of the opposition (or the police). There is never accepting some responsibility all around -- calling it childish is an affront to children -- when do the real adults get home?

If it has escaped you, I have no affiliation to any political party. They stink of corruption and dirty dealings! Who do you think riles up the masses? Your vote is the only reason you have any contact with them at all. And after a defeat, it's a general butt hurt session, complete with every excuse but the flaws associated with the candidate -- Hillary's still in denial (she wrote a book, apparently to remain relevant) -- real class act, eh?

The only flags I own are the U.S. and Linfield. Both are displayed proudly for different occasions. Maybe it's odd that there has never been anyone object to either, but there's still a slim chance.

I'll continue to have my opinion of disgust for violent demonstrations on all sides. One-sided arguments never relate the whole truth, only a bias. Not my idea of a peaceful progression to the best outcome.

Horse with no name

Dix – what line am I drawing?

I ask you two questions. It appears you don’t like violent demonstrations that cause property damage and impact police budgets. I think it is safe to say a majority of people including myself agree with that. I guess that is your answer to my question of what is the point of your “where does it end” question. Is that correct?

My other question was not what flags do you own or fly, but it was do you think you can be an American patriot and wave a Confederate or Nazi flag? I will tell you and anyone else, I don’t think sympathizing with traitors or Nazi’s is an attribute of an American patriot.

I guess if I drew a line it was do you stand on the side of American patriots or do you stand with traitors (Confederates) and Nazi’s (alt-right). You don’t appear able to answer that question or say which side you stand with. If you don’t know what that American flag stands for that you fly, you ought to fold it up and put it away. I’m done.

Bill B

Will you guys get a room!

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