The Daily Bee headline about Mr. Patrick Little’s plans to come to Sandpoint to spread his feelings of hatred toward Jews weighs heavy on my heart. I had a twinge of disgust that the Bee would even print anything about him because it gives him credibility. But it is good that we have a free press that keeps us informed. And he must be taken seriously because he has a following that is growing.
We who have lived in Sandpoint for a long time and those who have more recently moved here know deep down how incredibly open and caring our community is. As my mom taught me (and as I say in my campaign for the Idaho State Legislature, District 1A), “We can disagree without being disagreeable.” We can have civilized educated discourse. Except now, we have folks like Mr. Little who want to change our history books and say the Holocaust never happened or try to re-enact it (I’m not fully clear on which!).
So what do we do? Do we just ignore him? Do nothing (keep in mind Martin Niemoller’s quote, “…and then they came for me.”)?
Do we meet him head on with a protest? Is that giving him too much credibility? Is there the potential of someone getting hurt?
I suggest that we educate ourselves by listening to the voices of Holocaust survivors (go to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, www.ushmm.org). Then make signs that spread love, kindness, tolerance and acceptance of diversity. Then get together with two or three of your friends and find a prominent corner downtown and stand there as often as you can with your signs held high.
Email me ([email protected]) which location you’ll “adopt” and when you can be there. When all of the corners in the area are adopted, we’ll take to the Long Bridge and Rts. 2, 200 & 95 (or maybe we should go there first?).
We can also look at legal methods such as recent efforts in Charlottesville to prevent marches with “unauthorized paramilitary activity.”
Please email me other ideas as to how to deal with this behavior. Mr. Little and his followers need a clear message that north Idaho is a place of love, not hate. Thank you.
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