ALAMOSA — Alamosa leaders united against hate Wednesday night with a public statement ratified by the city council.
Following violent conflicts in Charlottesville, Councilman Jan Vigil had suggested that the city develop a resolution condemning such hatred in this community. “I see this as an opportunity for us to stand up to this kind of stuff, it’s not welcome here in Alamosa, that this city council is against this type of stuff,” he said.
Alamosa City Attorney Erich Schwiesow developed the resolution passed unanimously by the city council Wednesday night. Schwiesow said there were some eloquent statements on the web that he incorporated into the city’s resolution.
“The resolution is very, very well worded,” said Councilor Kristina Daniel. “I am very pleased.”
She said she wanted to be clear in upholding people’s right to free speech, whether she agreed with what was said or not, and she believed this resolution did not infringe upon anyone’s right to free speech but did take a stand against hatred and laid out the expectation of treating each other with respect.
Councilman Charles Griego said, “What’s sad is we have to come up with a resolution to do that. Why should we have to do that? We live in America. We should get along … This is sad. For me this is like a sad thing. I have been on this council a lot of years. I have never had to tell people to respect each other. That should be a given.”
Alamosa Mayor Josef Lucero agreed. “It’s unfortunate that there are groups that are still alive and well that try to foster hatred and discord in this country and not only in this country but worldwide … It’s sad when a city council has to adopt a resolution like this.”
Councilor Daniel said she understood what Griego and Lucero were saying, but she viewed this resolution as a positive move for the city standing up for those who haven’t had a voice before.
Councilman Vigil read the resolution during the September 6 council meeting:
“A RESOLUTION CONDEMNING NEO-NAZIS, WHITE SUPREMACISTS, THE KU-KLUX
KLAN, AND ALL OTHER HATE GROUPS AND GROUPS ESPOUSING RACISM AND
BIGOTRY AND UPHOLDING THE VALUES OF DIVERSITY, CIVILITY, FREEDOM OF
SPEECH, AND RESPECT
WHEREAS, Recent events around our nation have shown us again the existence and resurgence of an evil within our society that we have struggled to defeat over many years and many wars; and
WHEREAS, The evil that was on display in Charlottesville was a hateful and dangerous combination of nazism, fascism, racism and bigotry; and
WHEREAS, These values have no place in our country; the actions and words of those who adhere to the tenets of racism and bigotry are a betrayal of the America that so many have given their lives to create; and
WHEREAS, Such actions and words must be called out for what they are and courageously defeated by each and every one of us in our daily lives. We cannot allow this evil to rise again and threaten the peace, prosperity and progress we have made in our country; and
WHEREAS, The actions of the protestors in Charlottesville and all those that sympathize or support them are unpatriotic, inhuman and unacceptable. These protestors and members of white supremacy groups dishonor the sacrifice and patriotism and love of country that drove our forebears to answer the call of duty to combat these hateful ideologies and regimes with their very lives in the Civil War, in World War II, and in numerous other conflicts both at home and abroad; and
WHEREAS, We cannot, and we will not tolerate the creation and perpetuation of another movement dedicated to the ideals of Nazism, facism, and racism in America today. Their speech is protected by the very constitution and system that they disgrace with their behavior, but we cannot stoop to their level. We must rise above their calls to violence and hate, and show our intolerance and disagreement peacefully, in solidarity and support of each other as Americans; and
WHEREAS, There is no doubt that our America can once again silence and defeat the evil ideologies of nazism, fascism and racism if we all act together and do not turn our backs hoping it will go away.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ALAMOSA, COLORADO that the City call on every citizen to combat these ideologies peacefully in every aspect of our lives; to teach our children about history, about the horrible acts committed by the nazis and slave owners to their fellow human beings, to teach them that hate speech or acts in any form or any place are not to be feared, but must be defeated and conquered by real acts of patriotism, by peaceful discussion and rejection of those ideals; to empower our children and ourselves to be true patriots and stand up for the values that America embraces, that we strive everyday to live up to.”