Letters to the Editor: July 16, 2019
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Community is owed a public apology
Tomahawk has long taken pride in its Independence Day traditions, including the Tomahawk Lions Club Parade. This year, however, the organization ought to be quite ashamed of the blatant symbols of hatred on display.
I was extremely displeased and appalled by the presence of multiple Confederate flags on display during the parade. I should not have to explain why the inclusion of this flag in a public community event is offensive. The Confederate flag serves as a symbol of slavery and white supremacy, and has been embraced and made popular by many identified supremacist hate groups. Failure to recognize as much and prohibit the Confederate flag from inclusion in public events is deeply disgraceful.
This offense is amplified by the nature of the event. On a day intended to celebrate freedom, a flag emblematic of the ownership of other humans was allowed inclusion in a public event. The implicit message is that minority groups, particularly people of color, are not welcome and celebrated in the Tomahawk community.
Keegan Hankes, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, states, “Under the guise of ‘heritage,’ symbols of early U.S. History have long been adopted by hate groups set on returning to a time when all non-white people were viewed as subhuman and non-American.”
Tomahawk’s leading organizations must not endorse a return to such a time. Tomahawk leaders must recognize and celebrate community members and visitors of diverse backgrounds if it wishes to be the welcoming town it claims to be. The community is owed a public apology and promised more careful oversight of future events.
You can do better than this
It was another embarrassing July 4th parade for Tomahawk. Somewhere on the east side of town the band director (and I use the term loosely) found some kids that happen to have musical instruments and asked them to walk in the parade and pretend that they were a band. They did not look like a band and didn’t sound like a band. I will admit that the drummer was fairly good, and that is all we heard as they walked past. If they are going to look like a band they could at least wear something that would vaguely look like some kind of uniform. As they were, they looked like a bunch of kids dressed for a party after the parade wearing whatever happens to be handy at the time.
I guess I am spoiled as for the many years the band wore uniforms, played their instruments as they marched in the parade and made us proud of our THS band. Now I know the old uniforms were warm and uncomfortable. My sister was in the band and can attest to that, but this time of year at least matching T shirts and shorts would make a big difference. I may be mistaken but in the back of my mind I seem to remember new light weight uniforms were purchased for the band some years back.
I am sure you all noticed the Edger band that had summer time uniforms and looked and sounded like a band. It is just a shame that our school band has no pride and puts no effort into their public performances. It would be less embarrassing if they didn’t show up at all and make our school system and the city look bad for all the visitors that are in Tomahawk for the 4th.
After hearing many people at the parade on the 4th making comments about the Tomahawk band I felt we needed to let them and the people who are in charge of the school district know how we feel.
Come on THS you can do better than this.
How long will we allow this to go on?
What the Trump Administration is doing to the migrant children at our southern border is gravely immoral and pure evil. Moreover, those who support or condone those barbarities are just as evil.
We must ask our representatives what they are doing to stop or prevent these atrocities. You can contact Republican Senator Ron Johnson at 1-202-224-5323, Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin at 1-202-224-5653, and Republican Congressman Sean Duffy at 1-202-225-3365.
The one glaring problem at the detention facilities is the fact that many are private, for-profit organizations that have no incentive to release their prisoners in a timely fashion. The longer they keep them, the more money they make. That practice is immoral, if not illegal. The children have committed no crimes. How long will we allow this to go on?
Diana C. Smith