Say Aloud ‘Hate Has No Home In Jamestown’

To The Reader’s Forum:

“Hate has no home in Jamestown” was the theme of a rally in Dow Park organized as a result of what appears to be “white supremacist” defacing of statues depicting “Underground Railroad” participants, as well as after the theft of one of the statues. If you don’t know about the Underground Railroad, you missed a great history lesson from storyteller/historian Paul Leone.

What I found disturbing, mostly from my own ignorance, was that the history of Jamestown itself, not to mention the Underground Railroad in Jamestown was not, and may still not be taught in our schools. Perhaps the broader role of slavery and the “freedom road” for slaves is mentioned in US history, but if Jamestown is to heal, as Rev. Chloe Smith spoke about, then our children need to learn local information on the Underground Railroad. We must not let ignorance be our guide.

Organizer, Justin Hubbard, made a few things clear — one being how hate has no home in our community, another being that justice involves justice for all whether it involves race, ethnicity or sexual orientation, and that we, including our elected/appointed leaders, must DO something for our community to support justice for all. It was noted how our local leadership is promoting justice through recent police hiring. Participating at a rally is “doing” (thank you Chautauquans!). Changing one’s heart and mind is “doing”.

I’m reminded of the Pledge of Allegiance, which is routinely recited in schools and public meetings, that says “one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” So, if you believe in one nation that is God-centered (atheists also believe in healing) and provides for liberty AND justice for all, then the people of Jamestown and the US should be on the same page, but we are not.

People were present from varying races, religious beliefs and political persuasions and they all had a common goal – to rally against “hate.” Hate comes from the heart, so it makes sense to me that the people at the rally have their heart in the right place.

Is your heart in the right place? You don’t have to show up at a rally — but you should be able to say out loud “Hate has no home in Jamestown.” Will you?

Paul L. Demler



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