Letter to the Editor

Celebrating activism and missing my hometown

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

To the Editor of the Nevada Daily Mail:

The world is a scary place right now: we are grappling with almost 30,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in New York State and another 800 in Missouri. At the same time, protesters are filling the streets of our largest cities to demand a proportionate response to yet another black person who was killed while begging for his life. On top of that, some of the protesters have turned to acts of vandalism to bring more attention to their cause. I live in a city with an 8pm curfew tonight - I'm scared that more protesters and law enforcement officials may be injured. I'm worried that the protesters may be too close to one another thereby spreading the sometimes-symptomless virus. But I'm not scared about the protest itself.

It broke my heart then to see that a peaceful rally in Nevada organized by a student was being met with vague threats online. I am writing not just to support the organizer but to celebrate him for speaking out on behalf of those who are scared for their lives in their communities, insisting on non-violence, coordinating with the local authorities, and caring about Nevada.

We were taught in Nevada R-5 classrooms by some extraordinary educators that protesting doesn't need to be scary or violent. It should be interpreted instead as act of bravery and solidarity, a right in this country as sacred as any other. Suffragettes marched within the last hundred years so that women would be afforded the right to vote. Civil rights leaders marched to end separate-but-equal segregation tactics. And we march now to make sure that our neighbors and friends and co-workers don't have to fear for their safety in their communities.

I wish I could be there to stand up in person.

Scott Hillier