Yesterday I posted an Open Letter to Beaverton, Oregon: Thank You For Celebrating Mexico's Bicentennial.
Washington State resident Lars Larson and FOX's Bill O'Reilly have been attacking the city and falsely claiming that Beaverton doesn't celebrate the 4th of July (regardless of the fact that America's Independence Day is a city, state and federal holiday with countless area celebrations).
My letter has prompted a few angry phone calls this morning. Most have been polite, however. But one woman from St. Louis, MO. called a short time ago. There was nothing polite about her call - just a lot of yelling on her part. I offered to talk with her but every time I started she cut me off (taking her communication lessons from O'Reilly and Larson, I suppose) and I finally hung up as her attacks became more personal.
She called back and left this message - with a promise to visit me in Oregon with her son:
Larson and O'Reilly intentionally attempt to incite such anger by dividing our community among racial and cultural lines. As a minister in the United Church of Christ, (a multicultural and multiracial denomination),I find their actions to be reprehensible. They're more concerned with partisan politics than the common good of our state and nation. We need to tone down the hateful rhetoric and seek to find reconciliation.
(some browsers - like Firefox or Google Chrome - will allow you to simply click on the link and listen...otherwise click with the RIGHT mouse button on the hyperlink and choose “Save Target As” and save to your desktop or other folder – once downloaded click on the file to listen).
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Update: The grandmother from St. Louis isn't on only person upset. This e-mail came in this evening:
I have not a problem with people celebrating their culture…but not with my tax dollars!!!This is the united states of America..if they are here legally then they are Americans..we celebrate 4th of July..if this is a priority for them then they should go home to Mexico and celebrate. I find this bigoted,immoral, and most of all Racisit!