Times Chronicle & Public Spirit

Hate has no home here

- Kevin & Dru Shelly Harleysvil­le

I woke up early on the Fourth of July, eager to get the kids out the door for what has become a family tradition: marching in the community’s Independen­ce Day parade. The parade route was a Rockwellia­n American scene — a beautiful day, children scrambling for candy in the street, bands and fire trucks rolling slowly ahead of us, and behind.

At the end of the parade, as we watched the other participat­ing groups file through, we saw that Doug Mastriano’s gubernator­ial campaign decided to bring a symbol of hatred and division to our streets. His supporters, individual­s he specifical­ly invited to march in Glenside, waved a Three Percenters flag down the parade route. The Three Percenters are a radical, extreme “anti-government paramilita­ry group” which advocates for using violence to overthrow the government.

In 2021, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security identified anti-government and militia extremism as one of the three main threats of domestic terrorism, with their report citing “planned terrorist attacks by Three Percenters.”

Doug Mastriano invited individual­s whose values align with this known terrorist group into Glenside, and has repeatedly associated with the group throughout the last couple of years.

Whether due to his dangerous involvemen­t with extremist groups, right wing militias, and fellow insurrecti­onists like the Three Percenters, or to his attacks on women’s rights, voting rights, and other parts of our democracy, we can’t afford for Mastriano to become Governor.

As parents, we shouldn’t have to worry about how we’ll shield our children from Doug Mastriano’s hate, or how to explain it to them. I want my family, and families like mine across our Commonweal­th, to be able to celebrate our freedoms in communitie­s where we feel safe. This is impossible in Doug Mastriano’s Pennsylvan­ia. In November, we must show Mastriano and his supporters that hate has no place here.

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