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Viewpoint: Stop rationalizing concerns away

To the editor: 

I have been a resident of Hudson for two years and I am a proud member of the Hudson Inclusion Alliance.

If you listen or read statements from a few noisy members of our community, you should really be afraid of us. For those of you who would like to develop an informed opinion, our monthly large-group meetings are held usually on the second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Hudson Professional Building, 901 Fourth St. Our informal leadership team meets most Mondays at 9:30 a.m. at Dunn Brothers Coffee on Second Street. Join us.

Because we have been deemed as having evil tentacles and won't stop until Hudson is destroyed, I thought I would take a minute and let you in on my secret agenda.

Issue #1: I hope to never again see someone at a common council meeting carrying a sign that reads "Sodomy has no place in Hudson" or handing out fliers under the heading of Sodom and Gomorrah stating our acceptance of homosexuality will be the downfall of our civilization. Then at the same council meeting, hear certain city leaders state that they were offended that anyone could consider Hudson might need a little boost in the welcoming department.

Issue #2: When it is brought up recently that several pride flags were stolen or vandalized for a third time, one leader responded, "it's just kids." In other words, don't be offended, it's nothing personal. If you, a friend, or a relative is a member of the LGTBQ community, what's the number of times you should have to replace your pride flag, before you should take it personally?

Issue #3: I would like to participate in the next public forum on a topic like refugees or Islam and not overhear comments about Muslims promoting pedophilia, Sharia Law or the overthrow of the US constitution. I would also like to not see the mayor publicly dress-down Tony Bols at a recent common council meeting because the mayor's view of recent process was different. "I was there," he declared and therefore you Tony, are wrong. Many of us were there, Mr. Mayor.

Issue #4: No more anonymous notes left in my mailbox the day after the Florida school shootings containing a six-page list of mosques in Florida with the note that we can't let this happen in Hudson.

Issue # 5: I would like to go to public meetings and not have someone instruct us on the evils of Sharia Law and how that is an imminent threat to Hudson. I am sure this makes Hudson look welcoming to my Muslim neighbors.

Lastly, I would like to see the elected leadership of this city spend less time rationalizing concerns away or challenging people who may have experienced a different side of Hudson's welcome, and spend more time making sure people hear affirmative statements about what Hudson stands for:

Regardless of the intent of the vandals, vandalizing pride flags is not cool. Our LGTBQ friends and neighbors have a right to feel safe and welcome in our community, and in the spirit of freedom of religion, Hudson welcomes non-believers and those of other faiths, including Muslims.

Being a welcoming community is not about what most of us do to the most of us. It is about what the few do to some of us while the rest of us rationalize why those slights don't matter. If Hudson wants to be a considered welcoming, the most of us need to ensure that all hear the message of welcome.

John Ramstad

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