Duluth: Say Ix-nay to the March 3 Rally

I’m reposting here an open letter written to the Duluth community by Joel Kilgour, a local peace activist, and Sara Thomsen, a local musician. Basically, Duluthians are urged to stay away from the March 3 rally planned by a white supremacist group right here in the Zenith City.

For more information or to add your name to the growing list of supporters, visit http:www.sarathomsen.com/march3.htm.


A group espousing white racial supremacy and primarily from outside of our community is proposing to rally in Duluth on Saturday, March 3, 2012. We don’t know much about them, or if they will follow through with their plans.

We do know that racist ideology is a real danger. The ranks of hate groups in this country are small but growing, and many have shown a willingness to use violence. Still, they are only one manifestation of racism. Closer to home we see many examples of discrimination, intolerance and resentment that are just as harmful to our neighbors and our community at large. Left untreated, these conditions fuel the fire of hate. Ignoring racism in any of its forms will not make it go away.

So what do we do? Hate groups thrive off of publicity and conflict. We cannot allow them to use our community as a tool to advance their cause.

In 1998, when members of the anti-gay Westboro Baptist “Church” brought their hateful message to Duluth, we turned the tables. Instead of organizing a counter-protest we used their visit as an opportunity to grow together as a community. They ranted in an empty courtyard while Duluthians met by the hundreds in houses of worship and cafes to celebrate our diversity and tackle the root causes of discrimination.

We can do this again, and we need everyone’s help. Together we can defeat the hate with this simple plan:

1. STAY AWAY from the white supremacist rally. Everyone. Please don’t counter-protest or even drive by to witness the spectacle. This will only feed their desire for publicity and their profound victim complex. Let them yell at themselves until they are tired.

2. More importantly, DO SOMETHING on March 3rd to promote respect and unity. Let this be a community-wide call to action. We’ve had some difficult and courageous conversations in recent weeks about privilege and racism. Let’s take some time to lower our defensive shields in order to celebrate and listen to one another. It could be as simple as inviting a neighbor to dinner; or holding a listening session with your organization or faith community. Or organize with your neighbors and colleagues to hold a rally, or a concert to raise funds for scholarships for local youth. For every minute the hate group holds their rally, consider pledging dollars to a local organization working directly to address the issues of racism. The longer they stay, the more funds raised and humanity wins. The shorter they stay, humanity wins. Whatever you do, commit to taking a little step out of your comfort zone and keep it positive.

Whether or not they show up on the 3rd, the white supremacists want us to give them all of our attention and energy. We say no. We’re going to make this day about community and our resolve to overcome day-to-day distrust and discrimination. We will use this as a tool to our advantage, and emerge stronger and more unified. Please join us!


De man

about 12 years ago

Thank you, claire. I support this 100%.

Joel Kilgour

about 12 years ago

This is turning out to be a great weekend for our community! People are planning community breakfasts, listening sessions, dance parties and a fund-raising pledge drive. Any other plans in the works? We hope to announce a full list of events by Monday...


about 12 years ago

Awesome! Let's fill the city with love and tolerance, instead of hate and ignorance.


about 12 years ago

I'm planning on going to Zinema 2 that morning at 10:30 to see Erol Flynn's 1938 "Robin Hood" on the big screen and then going out to Barnes and Noble to see the Harbor City Theater Group perform "Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales" and that evening I'm performing in Wise Fool's "Taming of the Shrew" at the Teatro Zuccone.

Really, who has time to gawk at hate?


about 12 years ago

That evening, I am going to a potluck/ dance party in honor of a friend of mine who is leaving for Pennsylvania soon. And,of course, my daughter is performing in the very same production of "Taming of the Shrew" that Ironic1 is in, so I urge everyone who is at loose ends that evening to go see that play!


about 12 years ago

The morning of Saturday March, 3 I will read this article by Michael A. Hoffman II http://www.revisionisthistory.org/forgottenslaves.html

Then this one By John Martin http://www.africaresource.com/rasta/sesostris-the-great-the-egyptian-hercules/the-irish-slave-trade-forgotten-white-slaves/ 

After reading those two interesting articles on White Slavery I will do further research about the Arab Slave trade (of whites) or maybe even dip into the "White Genocide" in Armenia  [1915-1923]. 

How about that for a "victim complex"?

I will then read the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Then I am attending the rally, NOT to support or oppose and one group.


about 12 years ago

On the day of the "rally," I will share with my family the joy of how wonderful a vibrant, inclusive multi-cutural, blended and brown America will be. I will get some Ahsayma and leave it on the rocks of the lake for the elders whom have gone beyond, I will volunteer to provide community service and I will rejoice in the fact that regressive pusillanimous wannabe goosesteppers cant even make good sad little clowns.


about 12 years ago

On March 3, I will look up "pusillanimous" in the dictionary.


about 12 years ago

"I hate Illinois Nazis."


about 12 years ago

I will take your wise advice and stay away, though my first impulse was toward mockery. I wanted to stand among them with a big sign that says "Douche-bag Power."  I hope they all find true happiness, so they won't need to focus on the "other" in their preposterous, pitiful, poisonous pep rallies. Peace and love to them.

The Big E

about 12 years ago

Great.  Now what am I going to do with my "I'm With Stupid" banner?


about 12 years ago

Someone mentioned scattering the area with popcorn prior to the ralley to attract seagulls. I still think that would be hilarious.


about 12 years ago

+1 Sam. Exactly what i was thinking.


about 12 years ago

I plan to stick my head in the (newly formed) snowbank like an ostrich and hope no one takes my "racial virginity" while they spout unwelcome slurs.  Ignoring the problem does not make it go away, it lends acceptance to their words.


about 12 years ago

While normally I would agree with you r3353, in this instance ignoring it may not make it go away but it will make their efforts ineffective. The whole point of their rally is to gain attention and publicity for their hateful agenda. If everyone refuses to acknowledge them then it really isn't working out. 

When people shout look at me! the best thing to do is look the other way. It's not like talking to them or shouting back is going to change their minds ... otherwise I'd be screaming at elderly men outside the Building for Women.


about 12 years ago

The Lowest Common Denominator (DNT) will cover it regardless. I hold by my position that ignoring the problem will not make it go away.  I'm glad so many people assembled at the Bridge. I'm also glad many people gathered at the Civic Center.  The community outpouring proves success, even Mr. Hester was pleased with exercising his rights.  But you (society) will never get everyone to do what you want.  The best we can hope for, is letting people know that racial bigotry is not welcome in northern MN.

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