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Parade threats handled poorly all around

November 26, 2005|By Randy A. Breeden

To the editor:

In reading The Morning Herald on Monday, Oct. 31, I was very dismayed and disappointed in the article titled "NAACP included in Mummers Parade." The dismay came from the fact that the NAACP is certainly aware of the doors this can now open. The disappointment stems from the fact that the Alsatia Club has done such a nice job with the parade for so many years, only to falter now with such a very poor decision.

One can only assume that the club failed to consult any type of reputable legal counsel prior to its decision. As the article mentioned, this was a last-minute call, and one may also assume it was planned in such a way as not to allow any rational thought on the matter.

Point is, whether we like it or not, this action may very well have opened the door for every hate group in America to now march in our wonderful parade.

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These groups may also be entitled to placement at the parade front. Many of the performing students in the Mummers Parade work hard throughout the year in preparation of having their talent shine on this one parade night. They had no choice in this matter, yet they may very well be the ones who suffer the consequences.

No matter what one's skin color may be, I'm certain few, if any, in the area will enjoy watching the KKK float in next year's parade.

I'm certain few, if any, will enjoy the floats decorated with swastikas and displaying messages of hate. These things may not come to be, but should they, rest assured our courts will have little to no power in stopping it.

Unfortunately, we live in a world of equal rights, no matter how ugly or unconscionable those rights may seem. We also live in a time where two wrongs still don't make a right. Perhaps someday we will have a world in which racism is but a memory of a time long ago.

We are not there yet and actions such as this decision do nothing more than make the road a little longer and the journey more difficult.

In closing, I say shame on you, Alsatia Club, for not having the very same layman's forethought that I had. I also say shame on you, NAACP, for having opened this door that is now open for every hate and racist group in America.

The kids in this parade look to adults for leadership and in this case, they certainly were let down in a big way. I realize that the saddest part of this entire ordeal was the threats that birthed this matter. I also realize though, as most would, that intelligent forethought would have dictated that we rise above and persevere.

This, simply put, means the threats should have been taken most seriously, the parade participants and attendees protected.

Once these things were complete, the matter should have strictly become a matter for law enforcement in locating the origin of the threats.

Randy A. Breeden
Williamsport

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