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Confederate flag in parade a cause for 'dismay'
As community members who are active in Canby, we are writing to thank the City of Canby and the volunteers who organized Canbys Fourth of July parade and community celebration. We feel honored to have the opportunity to exercise our freedom of speech by marching with candidates in the parade along with many others who expressed themselves in many different ways.
Unfortunately, there was one display that challenged our beliefs about freedom of speech. We are referring to the float entered by The Sons of Confederate Veterans which included numerous Confederate flags.
While we respect their right to honor their ancestors who fought for the South, we would argue that flying Confederate flags in a city-sponsored parade is unacceptable. When we allow such symbols of racism, we inadvertently support an institutional structure of discrimination, bigotry, and intolerance. This display completely ignores the fact that the Confederacy believed that it was both moral and just to own slaves.
Meanwhile, even today our nation struggles with the consequences of that long history of immoral and unjust actions.
Though we understand that the specifics of the float were probably unclear to organizers, as community members, we were dismayed to see Confederate flags paraded. We would like to encourage the community to have a sincere, civil conversation about what is acceptable in a city-sponsored event. To that end, we call on Canby city officials to host a facilitated conversation with the goal of creating event regulations that consider and protect all citizens.
Again, our compliments to those who provided a wonderful July 4 Celebration. Lets work together to create guidelines allowing safe, fun and friendly city sponsored events that can be enjoyed by all who live, work and visit our beautiful town.
Robert Bitter, Kathleen Jeskey, Irene Konev, Carol Kramer, Pamela White, Nancy Sebastian, Rex Hagans, Sam Gillispie, Phillip Groelz, Susan Chavez, Siobhan Gworzdz, Jim Burrows, Betty Crawford, Peg Hewlett, Grae Lewis, Lynda & Richard Campbell, Scott Hays, Tom Kane, Charles Gallia, Sarah Spoon, Troy Wahl, Mary Walsh, Tony Crawford, Kathy and Craig Shinn