Letter to the Editor

Standing for Minorities Rally

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Dear Editor,

I was born and grew up in Nevada, Missouri. When I shared my hometown with my friends in college and later as an adult, I spoke of our close knit community, the pride we felt for our schools and Cottey College, and the grass roots celebrations and traditions that—while maybe trivial to someone outside of Nevada—strengthened the bonds between community members and friends. Mostly I spoke of the people: hardworking, loyal, humble, and most of all, kind. These are the people who I consider lifelong friends, mentors, and role models. I don’t pretend Nevada is perfect—no rural Midwestern town is—but we have always held decency and community at our core.

I felt a surge of pride when I read a young man in our community was organizing a rally in support of George Floyd and the fair treatment of minorities. When I was 18 like Lucas, I was worried about picking up shifts at Pizza Hut for pocket money, prom, and college. Lucas has used his summer vacation to organize several dozen people to meet and peacefully assemble In support of inclusivity and compassion. That’s simply incredible to me.

I was horrified to read that Lucas and other members of the rally have received threats from people who don’t agree with their message. I believe Nevada is better than this. I believe it is possible for community members to express opinions and disagree without resorting to violence or aggression to silence the other side. I believe it is possible for police to observe a peaceful assembly with the intention of maintaining that peace rather than stoking fear or conflict. I believe every citizen—regardless of whether I find their opinions inspiring or repugnant—has the right to express those opinions without fear for their safety.

I stand in support of Lucas, his co-organizers, and anyone else who chooses to rally alongside them. I plan to be there as well. As a proud former resident of Nevada, I urge everyone in our community to please let them assemble without violence and hear what they have to say.


Erin Hillier