Letter: Standing up to anti-American rhetoric

Letter: Standing up to anti-American rhetoric

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It’s true that the recent fearmongering hate rally covered in these pages occurred in Bettendorf, which is not my town, was sponsored by a political party which is not my own, and was hosted by a church of a denomination other than mine.

But when I encouraged a particularly eloquent friend of mine to write a letter to the editor, she reminded me (in her particularly eloquent way), that the shame of what happened at Pleasant View Baptist Church is not on her, as an African-American, to address; it's on people like me. Because those who spout such hate – thickly or thinly veiled – pretend to speak for people who look like me. And so I choose to stand up against the anti-American rhetoric that went unchallenged at the recent Republican rally.

As your reporter, Graham Ambrose, noted in his follow-up piece, after the proud participant in the violent 2018 rally in Charlottesville spewed his trash, he took questions from the crowd and, "No one in the audience pushed back or disavowed what he had said."

As my friend noted in her blog, "We are obviously a community that hates bigotry and hates racism. But we are also a community still full of hate, bigotry and racism." It’s time for those of us who know better to do better, reminding our neighbors that study after study shows immigrants contribute more in taxes than they receive in government services. And, as Ambrose pointed out, "undocumented immigration does not increase violence."

Kai Swanson

Rock Island

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