LINCOLN, Neb. — An anti-hate resolution has created a philosophical divide between some Lincoln residents, including several who support white nationalism and others who find it repugnant.
All City Council members in attendance Monday voted in favor of the resolution that calls for a celebration of diversity and an intolerance of hate, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. The resolution is in response to a recent surge of white supremacy and hate crimes, including recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a woman protesting hate groups was killed during a rally of white nationalists and other similar groups.
“What we want to do is affirm that none of us are powerless in the face of hate,” said Leirion Gaylor Baird, a councilwoman. “There are things we can do respectfully. But we cannot be silent.”
The resolution calls on Lincoln residents to appreciate each other’s differences and to speak out against acts of bullying, discrimination and hate violence.
Dan Kleve, who identifies as a white nationalist, opposed the resolution, saying it’s a business proposition to create a safe zone that’ll control a consumer population void of class, identity and race.
Kleve said the U.S. has had politically incorrect arguments in its early days, including “against Indians to determine who was better at running national resources and the economy and cultural values. And we won.”
Former City Council candidate Lou Braatz said he’ll continue to make sure Lincoln is a city where racism, homophobia, bigotry and Islamophobia aren’t welcome.
Kaitlyn Mullen, a University of Nebraska student who identifies as right-wing, said the resolution could threaten free speech because it’s based on one person’s definition of race and hate. Mullen said she was harassed recently while recruiting for Turning Point USA, a conservative organization.
“How is this going to be implemented?” she asked. “How are we going to define hate?”
Councilman Roy Christensen said the resolution isn’t against free speech, but that free speech shouldn’t be met with anger and hate.
“We need to separate anger from public discourse,” he said. “Anger produces hate and hate produces violence, and we don’t want that in our city.”
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com