Mid-Shore res­i­dents rally against hate

Record Observer - - News - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

WYE MILLS — Af­ter the events in Char­lottesville, Va., where white su­prem­a­cist and neo-Nazi groups ral­lied and clashed with anti-hate groups, East­ern Shore pro­gres­sives gath­ered Fri­day night, Aug. 18, to de­nounce ha­tred, big­otr y and white supremacy.

Thou­sands of cars head­ing to Mary­land and Delaware beaches for the week­end passed sign­wav­ing, anti-hate rally-go­ers ask­ing for peace amongst hu­man­ity. Cars honked as they zoomed by, many times fol­lowed by waves and cheers. In some in­stances, though, mid­dle fin­gers were shown.

Or­ga­nized by Tal­bot Ris­ing and To­gether We Will — Del­marva, more than 50 peo­ple stood at the cor­ner of U.S. Route 50 and Col­lege Drive near Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege and de­nounced all forms of ha­tred and big­otry.

The protests in Vir­ginia, which have sparked na­tional outcr y and fur­ther protests against hate­groups, left one dead Aug. 12 af­ter a ve­hi­cle plowed into a crowded Char­lottesville in­ter­sec­tion of counter-pro­tes­tors act­ing out against the “Unite the Right” rally, which in­jured oth­ers, as well.

Many rally-go­ers said they felt a need to de­nounce big­otry, vi­o­lence and other forms of in­equal­ity, and an obli­ga­tion to speak out against the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Ann Turpin, 81, of Cen­tre­ville said, “Si­lence is com­pli­ance, and we can­not al­low that.”

Turpin, who has eight grand­chil­dren, said it is im­por­tant for peo­ple to voice their opin­ions by at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity and to call their se­na­tors “be­fore we get to the cri­sis point.”

White su­prem­a­cists and neo-Nazi groups were protest­ing against the re­moval of a Gen. Robert E. Lee statue from down­town Char­lottesville.

Queen Anne’s County NAACP Pres­i­dent Eric Daniels said the events in Char­lotesville are a “trav­esty” that will “bring us all to­gether all over the coun­try.” In the face of tragedy, Daniels said, Amer­i­cans form bonds and stand up for what they be­lieve in.

He said hav­ing ral­lies and speak­ing up is im­por­tant to re­mind peo­ple “we don’t want that in our neigh­bor­hood, we don’t want that in our state, we don’t want that in our countr y.”

Han­nah East­man, 15, pres­i­dent of Queen Anne’s County High School’s Young Democrats Club, said she be­lieves bi­par­ti­san­ship de­bates are key to mov­ing for­ward, and if that is not achiev­able, “there’s no chance of cur­ing this deep di­vide be­tween peo­ple.”

Denice Lom­bard of Tal­bot Ris­ing said be­ing si­lent would send out the wrong mes­sage.

“The mes­sage we want to send is ha­tred, big­otry ... white supremacy won’t be tol­er­ated, and we will build an army of love to counter it if it does come up,” Lom­bard said.

One goal, she said, is to com­plete the “un­fin­ished mis­sion” of Mary­land’s na­tive son Fred­er­ick Dou­glas in unit­ing peo­ple “re­gard­less of race or creed.” Lom­bard said peo­ple have been en­slaved, tor­tured, died and lived in fear to achieve racial jus­tice, “and we won’t go back.”

Deb­o­rah Krueger from To­gether We Will — Del­marva said the peace­ful rally was to show East­ern Shore res­i­dents sup­port peace and stand against vi­o­lence and ha­tred.

“We just wanted to make peo­ple know that over here, the same as lots of other places, we’re not go­ing to stand for that,” she said.

Also a mem­ber of the Queen Anne’s County Demo­cratic Club, Krueger said let­ting other Democrats in the area know they aren’t an “is­land” is a goal in hopes more peo­ple will stand up and speak out.

“We’re in re­mark­able times, not re­mark­ably good times but re­mark­able times,” Boz­man res­i­dent Ridgely Ochs said. “... If not now, when? And if not me, then who? It’s a hot day, but I’m happy to be here.”

Early Fri­day morn­ing, a statue of Supreme Court Jus­tice Roger B. Taney was re­moved from the Mary­land State House lawn, the same fate many stat­ues of Con­fed­er­ate-era sym­bols have had in the past week. Taney, who penned the in­fa­mous Dred Scott Supreme Court rul­ing, stated black in­di­vid­u­als could not be U.S. cit­i­zens.

Wide­spread de­bates have been held about the re­moval of such stat­ues, with some say­ing it is re­vi­sion­ist his­tory. Oth­ers say that though his­tory should not be for­got­ten, stat­ues of slav­ery sym­pa­thiz­ers be­long in a dif­fer­ent venue.

Ear­lier in the week, mon­u­ments of Lee and Stonewall Jack­son were re­moved in Bal­ti­more.

Tal­bot Ris­ing is a non­par­ti­san, grass­roots or­ga­ni­za­tion run by pro­gres­sive vol­un­teers who use peace­ful re­sis­tance, ed­u­ca­tion and ad­vo­cacy for a va­ri­ety of is­sues, ac­cord­ing to its web­site.

To­gether We Will — Del­marva is “a lib­eral, po­lit­i­cally driven group in­tended to fa­cil­i­tate com­mu­ni­ca­tion and sup­port amongst like-minded peo­ple,” ac­cord­ing to its Face­book page.

Fol­low Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @mike_k­ibay­times.

PHO­TOS BY MIKE DAVIS

More than 50 peo­ple gath­ered at the cor­ner of U.S. Route 50 and Col­lege Drive in Wye Mills on Fri­day night stand­ing in sol­i­dar­ity with Char­lottesville, Va., and de­nounc­ing all forms of hate and racism.

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