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View Diary: Jewish Family Flees, 'Stop The ACLU' Director 'PLEASED'- what you can do (241 comments)

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  •  Billings (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, shpilk, DH from MD, plf515

    The story is awesome and worth reading or viewing:

    NOT IN OUR TOWN is the inspiring documentary film about the residents of Billings, Montana who responded to an upsurge in hate violence by standing together for a hate-free community. In 1993, hate activities in Billings reached a crescendo. KKK fliers were distributed, the Jewish cemetery was desecrated, the home of a Native American family was painted with swastikas, and a brick was thrown through the window of a six-year-old boy who displayed a Menorah for Hanukkah.

    Rather than resigning itself to the growing climate of hate, the community took a stand. The police chief urged citizens to respond before the violence escalated any further. Religious groups from every denomination sponsored marches and candlelight vigils. The local labor council passed a resolution against racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia. Members of the local Painters Union pitched in to paint over racist graffiti. The local newspaper printed full-page Menorahs that were subsequently displayed in nearly 10,000 homes and businesses. The community made an unmistakable declaration: "Not in Our Town." Since then, no serious acts of hate violence have been reported in Billings.

    There is hope for America when the better instincts of the people are mobilized.

    •  Thanks for the find (0+ / 0-)

      Would it be OK if I used it for a diary tomorrow?

      Republicans worry about our souls and their bellies. Democrats worry about their souls and our bellies

      by plf515 on Wed Jul 05, 2006 at 04:35:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm so glad you asked . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        plf515

        . . . because your inquiry led me to your diary today, which was one of the most affecting and effective posts I've ever read here.

        I found the text blockquoted above by doing a Google image search for "Billings menorah". I remembered having seen a photo of a large group of Billings townspeople, with the police chief in front holding a menorah; that photo didn't show up but the PBS website did.

        Since the text comes from PBS, and is probably a short enough excerpt to constitute fair use, I can't see any reason not to use it.

        Did you notice on the NPR page that they have two other documentaries about similar events in other locations?

        Every time I read about a family that's persecuted for moving into the "wrong" neighborhood, I wonder why a few hundred people don't just rush there to support them. Thank you for reminding us about the good people of Billings.

        •  thanks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          word is bond

          glad you liked my diary - it didn't get much attention that I could see, and it is always nice to get affirmation.

          regarding the menorah, I had forgotten the name of the town, and wasn't entirely sure it was Montana.

          I plan on building on the idea of 'good people' perhaps tomorrow, but certainly soon.  We here spend a lot of time uncovering maggots.  It's necessary.  But it's not enough.  One must also plant grass.

          I am convinced that the vast majority of people in this country are not the sort of evil slime they sometimes seem to be.  Not everyone with a closed mind is that way by choice.  In the movie I wrote about in my diary on the moviePaper clips we see what can happen when people are given a key to open the door with.  But that won't happen if we are busy shouting epithets at them.

          The leaders of the 'movement' are evil.  No question.  Bush. Limbaugh. Coulter, the bozos at stop the ACLU, and all the rest.  Evil.  But not all of the people who vote for them are evil; some are.  But some are simple creatures of habit, making their own way in a difficult world, with (often) little time or energy to consider changing their views.  

          We need to expose the views.  But we also need to show them alternatives.  And people don't listen too well when you're yelling at them.

          (In case it's not obvious, none of the above is directed at any specific kog (given what's going on, kossack seems wrong - my grandparents were likely raped by kossacks).  It's not even a criticism of dailykos.   It's another path.

          Peace  

          Republicans worry about our souls and their bellies. Democrats worry about their souls and our bellies

          by plf515 on Wed Jul 05, 2006 at 07:41:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good people (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            plf515

            Yes, we need to give attention to constructive approaches for positive change. It's more important than identifying the problems, but harder.

            I think you are right that many people are creatures of habit or too preoccupied. Others have limited information, or are just going along with the crowd. A good leader or a clever motivational activity (which is what I'm guessing was the process in Paper Clips, which I'll now put on my Netflix queue) can recruit people to move in another direction, and others will follow. I'm sure you're right that yelling is counterproductive.

            I absolutely believe that most people have good instincts that can be appealed to. I look forward to reading your diary when it appears.

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