Let It Be… Resolved.
The good news is baseball is back on the radio. Hearing the familiar voices calling plays of players I like so much I named a boat after one of them has been a healing balm after months of political coverage. The league has a new rule — it no longer requires four pitches to intentionally walk a player to first — you can just wave them there now. I don’t like it. Those pitches should count, but it’s all about making the game faster. The whole point of baseball is that it takes time. If this were the only major rule decision that I disagreed with this week, it would be a good week.
I realize there is an entire section in this paper for sports, and that’s not why you read my columns. Sad!
The national stage is a dumpster fire. It just is. Some of that vitriol is making its way to our towns. Chugiak High School had to ban the Confederate flag at their school after students posed in the school for a picture. Here’s an opportunity for the history teachers at Chugiak. One: Alaska wasn’t even a state during the Civil War. Two: The last time the Confederate flag was relevant was on an orange 1969 Dodge Charger. Three: The last flag flown by the Confederacy was a white one. We have one flag and a lot of people died on both sides of that argument, including some of my own family.
The sleepy little town of Homer has a big week coming up. A resolution, you know those unbinding documents with lots of “Whereas,” “Therefores,” and “Be it resolved,” is on Monday’s docket at the Homer City Council.
“A resolution of the City Council of Homer, Alaska, stating that the City of Homer adheres to the principle of inclusion and herein committing this city to resisting efforts to divide this community with regard to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, national origin, physical capabilities or sexual orientation regardless of the origin of those efforts, including from local, state or federal agencies.”
Would you think that statement could be argued? Seems pretty self-evident to me, but there are some people who think they are losing something if they can’t target certain religious groups or minorities.
“WHEREAS, The City of Homer recognizes that our community is diverse in regards to religion, political ideologies, sexual identity or orientation, and ethnicity, and that no citizen should feel in any way threatened for their beliefs or physical appearance, and the City should be on record as opposing all intolerance towards those individuals.”
That was a reason for a few Alaskans to call for a tourism boycott of our fair city. Really? If you’re going to cancel your trip to our little hamlet by the sea because you feel your vacationing experience will somehow be hampered by a community that is embracing tolerance, well, try Somalia. It’s not on the road system, but I think you’ll fit in. We’re never going to be the “Come for the fishing, stay for the cross burning and stoning of gays!” kind of place you’re looking for. Sorry. Not sorry.
The resolution, “unequivocally rejects expressions of fear and hate wherever they may exist, and specifically rejects harassment of women, immigrants, religious minorities, racial and ethnic minorities, and LGBTQ individuals, and non-violent political groups. And embraces all peoples regardless of skin color, country of birth, faith, sex, gender, marital status, political ideology, or abilities; and that the City of Homer will not waver in its commitment to inclusion and to continuing to create a village safe for a diverse population.”
Before some threat of “sanctuary city” gets thrown out there, that was addressed: “Homer will cooperate with federal agencies in detaining undocumented immigrants when court-issued federal warrants are delivered.” See, that’s remarkably different than being the underground railroad for undocumented humans. If you just got upset that I called them “humans,” you’ve kind of made my point.
And then there’s the beautiful mention of constitutions. “Homer shall steadfastly defend the United States and Alaska constitutions, especially with regard to the former’s precedent-backed right of privacy and the latter’s specified right of privacy (Article 1, Section 22), and safeguard the rights declared in the Bill of Rights.”
The intention of the writers is clear, “To set an example for the rest of the nation, demonstrating that Homer residents and Alaskans adhere to the principle of live-and-let-live.”
The pushback on this by a few people reminds me not everyone gets the “Love your neighbor as yourself” no matter where they spend Sunday mornings. John F. Kennedy said, “Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.” May it be resolved.