Letter: Confederate flags shouldn't be tolerated in town that objects to racism

I grew up in Rochester in the 1990s. I was school-aged then, but I remember the anti-racist movement that brought Rochester the slogan "Racism: Not in Our Town."

Folks made their opposition to racism in town visible by placing yard signs with this phrase.

I'm visiting family this month, and I've witnessed something that should be troubling and intolerable to us all. I see pickup trucks with enormous Confederate flags roll up and down Broadway Avenue.

Is Minnesota, Rochester or our local pride, the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, willing to accommodate these demonstrations of white supremacy? Are we as a community willing to let expressions of racism go without some public response?

That flag isn't addressed to me or the other white folks in town. It's a message to the African-American, Latino, Asian-American communities and our international visitors and residents. It's a form of intimidating those wishing to worship in peace at Rochester's central mosque (on Broadway.)


We cannot brush off these mundane demonstrations of white supremacy in our cities. They are no-so-subtle threats of violence, even if the white community is not the target.

Is it time to bring back the slogan "Racism: Not in Our Town"? We must let the public know that Confederate flags and white supremacy are not welcome here. There needs to be a public response.

Connor Ryan

Lansing, Mich.

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