Not In Our Town Billings

Stop Hate. Together

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Muslims as trouble makers

Posted by Patrickj on September 10, 2010 at 4:31 PM Comments comments (0)

On Saturday, my wife and I often appreciate listening to the morning radio talk show on KBEAr. This past weekend may have been my last weekend to listen. Once again, Dan Miller was the host. I have heard him bashing mexican immigration, his solution to the problem: put up a wall and don't let any more mexicans in tech country, they don't work and want to live off of our hard earned dollar.

This past weekend, he again launched into one of his tirades. This time it was about Muslims. He states clearly, MUslims are trouble makers and the solution is to just not hire any of them. Don't hire Muslims. He re-chanted several times. 

This was just too nauseating and we had to turn off the radio and probably won't listen to it again on Saturdays while Major Dan Miller is host. 

Although both my wife and I were appalled by his lack of conscience, it is just as confusing to try to understand with all the anti hate attempts and talk that has been in Billings since the inception of NIOT, why the general public still tolerates and is entertained by Dan Miller and his overt hate comments on the radio.  I emailed the radio station and have gotten no response. It is almost as if no one notices this guy who is promoting hate among races right here in Billings, Mt. And he does it regularly and no one seems to care. As a matter of fact, he escalates an already volatile and dangerous problem. We have a population of Muslims, mexicans and others he degrades, right here in Billings. Is it because the general population is caucasian christians that no one cares? Is there anything NIOT can do to bring his antics to light? 

The solution to hate crimes is not to judge and become hateful, but rather to develop a more accepting community of kind and compassionate people. 

NIOT.org launch and our Annual Meeting

Posted by Eran Thompson on April 5, 2010 at 2:21 PM Comments comments (0)

 

This is a really amazing week for Not In Our Town Billings. As I write this, I am in Oakland, California preparing for the NIOT.org launch party in San Francisco. The date 4. 06.10 was chosen specifically to co-inside with the area code of Billings, the birthplace of the NIOT movement.

 

I will join with community leaders from across the country to talk about the power of positive action in our work for safe, inclusive communities. NIOT.org is a first of its kind national social networking site, designed to be a place to move people to from bystander to upstander; creating the space for justice to exist.

 

This social networking website will only thrive with active support from our community. We need you to visit the website and join our group page TODAY; so that we can help lead the NIOT 2.0 revolution. I have challenge other NIOT communities around the country to get more people involved…I want to make sure that our community remains a leader in the movement we created. Follow this link to join our group on NIOT.org

 

And I look forward to seeing you all back in Billings on April 8th for our Annual Meeting at the Yellowstone Art Museum as we premier the art exhibit Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate. Find out more here.

 

Eran Thompson

Chair, Not In Our Town Billings

 

There's An Elephant In The Community

Posted by Cindy Konecny on September 21, 2009 at 10:23 AM Comments comments (0)

This Friday evening September 25th at 7:00 PM in the Lewis and Clark Room in the MSU-B Student Union Building there will be a Forum "There's an Elephant in the Community" presented by MSUB Native American Studies Department, NIOT Billings, and Billings Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

The Moderator is:

Mary Hernandez of the YBGR Empowering Youth Program

The Panelists are:

Nona Main - Student MSUB Native American Indian Studies

Silbs Silbernagle - Student MSUB Native American Indian Studies

Sue Champagne - Grad Student MSUB Native American Indian Studies

Darrell Lamere - Native American Development Corp.

Eran Thompson - NIOT, Cancer Society, Community Activist

Claudia Stephens - Chair of the Human Relations Commission

Dr. Jeff Sanders - MSUB Native American Indian Professor, Congregration Beth Aaron

If you are interested in learning about how the many ethnic groups in Billings are eager to do what is necessary to make Billings a city that cares and respects all people regardless of ethnicity - please come and participate in the Forum.

Busy Weekend for NIOT Billings Volunteers

Posted by Cindy Konecny on June 16, 2009 at 5:18 PM Comments comments (0)

NIOT Billings Members were busy this past weekend.  Saturday, we had the booth set up at the 2009 March Against Drugs and Violence event on the Courthouse lawn.  The turnout for the event was really good.  NIOT Billings donated a children's bike and helmet that was given away during the event.  Pastor Melvin Terry was the winner.  Several of our members marched with the group around the downtown area and back to the Courthouse lawn where everyone was treated to hotdogs and ice cream.  Sunday we set up the booth at Rocky Mountain College for the Festival of Cultures.  We had the original Not In Our Town video playing, while over 50 children stopped to paint wooden heart-in-hand cutouts  and color paper flags from various countries and states.  We had great turnout from our volunteer members at both events.  Several people stopped by the booth this weekend to say "thank you" for what NIOT is doing in the community.

"Creativity" movement night lit drops.

Posted by niotbillings on June 16, 2009 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

More and more lit drops in the middle of the night by the "Creativity" movement.  The latest series were in the 1400 block of Avenue C.  If you recieve a flyer, please report it to the police department  and NIOT Billings.  While not illegal, we want to track these acts of vandolism and hatred.

Obama Supporter has something thrown through window....sound familiar???

Posted by niotbillings on November 11, 2008 at 9:08 PM Comments comments (0)

Another frieghtening account of Hate in Billings. It is also worthy of mentioning that late on October 31 the Billings Obama Campaign Headquarters had a masterlock thrown through one of their front windows.

I had two OBAMA campaign signs in my picture window because I heard the lawn types were being vandalized here in Billings.  So you wanna know what happened at 2 AM this past Sunday night?  I heard two loud thunderous noises in my front room so I ran to see what it was.  I actually thought someone had fired a shotgun into my house.  There was a tall white man, an adult, getting into a light beige or white PT Cruiser and he just calmly drove away after he broke my picture window.  I called the police and they also found that my car's back license plates had been bent.  It's scarey to think he walked close enough to my house to bend my license plates, grab something and break my window.  It seemed like he couldn't break it the first time so he tried again, that's why the two loud booms.  This was not a crazy teenage prank, I have no enemies that I know of, nor the rest of my family, I have grandchildren in my house and it was just scarey to think some adult took a deliberate and well thought-out action against me and my safety.  I felt violated and I was depressed and scared all the rest of the week. 

 

I am still delirious that Obama won, though.  We have hope now.

Obama Supporters see aggressive Hate 1st hand

Posted by niotbillings on November 7, 2008 at 1:04 PM Comments comments (1)

The following account is from a Billings family, who were shocked to see hate---1st hand.  

      October 18, 2008, started out as a normal day and night, but at 12:30am on October 19, the lives of myself and my family were changed forever!! My wife and I were in our living room watching movies and my 7 year old daughter, who is half black was asleep. I was on the floor and my wife was sitting in a chair near our front door. We are big Obama supporters and we had some Obama/Biden signs in our window as well as a full length black and white poster on the inside of our screen door, that says "Yes We Can, Billings, with a large picture of Obama above the saying! A man and a woman drove to our house and parked behind my truck that was in our driveway. The woman walked up to our front door, and opened the screen door and tore down the Obama sign.

Then, she proceeded to open our front door into our house,step one foot inside the door and scream "F***ing Ni**er, F***ing Ni**er", to make matters worse my

7 year old daughter, had just woken up and was standing in our living room, in plain sight of this women when she was saying this. The woman then ran out into the street,with the poster, tore it up and spit on it!! I headed out the door in pursuit of this car, and chased them half way down the street but was unable to get their license plate number. I have always been aware of racism, but although I am a white man, I love all people, have many friends that are black or of other races. This was the first time in my life that I have experienced racism, first hand! My wife and my daughter mean everything to me, and this situation was traumatic for all of us!!

 

When Hate Happens Here

Posted by niotbillings on June 18, 2008 at 10:24 AM Comments comments (1)

Well folks, Hate has again returned to Billings (if it ever left).  We'd like to know your thoughts on what we can do as a community to stand against hate and intolerance.  Please leave your comments here.

One of our Board Members sent this Letter to the Editor:

Letter: It's everybody's job to stand against hate

  • I wish I were more surprised and shocked by the recent rash of hate-motivated crime in Billings, but the truth is, I'm not. Saddened and sickened, but not surprised. Hate-motivated crimes may be not be routine in our town, but mistrust and fear of "others" is not uncommon.

    At times like these I can't help but worry that the self-righteous and indignant will, in their enthusiasm, forget that we are each responsible for our neighbors, friends, brothers and sisters. In our growing community, it is all too justifiable to adopt the stance that "It wasn't me" and "I'd never!"

    The reality is that it happens; it has always happened, and unless one is active and vocal against hate, one's silence is his or her complicity. It is not enough to maintain our own individual innocence; we must demand it of our community as a whole. As a Crow woman, mother, longtime resident of Billings and active member in civic matters, I urge my neighbors, friends, relatives and acquaintances to take action against hatred by visiting the Not In Our Town Billings Web site (www.niotbillings.org) and participating in the events being organized to stand against hatred, here in our community.

    Crystal L. Berg

A local Poet has written this for our Community:

Sandblasting our Bricks Clean


They paint swastikas just thinking,

not thinking,

that the skin they are showing

covering their lame brains

is better than ours covering our hearts.

That Hitler?s sign is only composed

of sharp, jagged lines.

Corners doing cartwheels,

as innocent as a child?s play,

while they undermine

the real connotation in the middle.


They paint that hate on our bricks

as though this was their town and their right.

As though we are just visiting and their

mentality has been brought in for questioning.

As though they could revive an idea

that was shot down with the KKK when

blood stained their white wedding sheets

they dressed in at night. When truth shone

the light that made their silhouette look so scrawny

under the blood stained white wedding sheets of the KKK.


They paint their selfish lines of graffiti

as though those drops could change our history.

The strife of the black man and the redemption

of the white. The forgiveness on one side upheld

by the acceptance on the other. The band made between

every caucasian and colored brother. Matin Luther king

and Abraham Lincoln, Obama and Clinton, the blue-eyed Jesus

and the blue elephant, Ganesha.


They paint against our skin color, differently churches,

neighborhoods and corners, sexual partners, and moralized martyrs.

In four sharp, jagged corners they cut away

our heritage, history, harmony and honor.

With gas masks and bricks, we see a test

presented in four sharp, jagged corners:

Yes you have come this far, but can you make it longer.

And so as Obama says ?yes, we can?, as the King pronounced,

"I have a dream...", and as we say now, ?not in our town?.


Not in our town will their paint stay and ideas flourish.

Not in our town will bed sheets be worn as robes.

Not in our town will we remain silent.


No, because in our town we are all Robin Hoods

fighting away spray paint and racial slurs for the greater good.

In our town I don?t have to be black to see mistreatment
and I don?t have to be white to do something about it.

Together we will sandblast our bricks clean from

that paint. That symbol that they just thinking, not thinking,

not remembering, just remembering that this is our town

and we?ll fight to keep it that way.

--Lindsay Sanders

What a Great Weekend

Posted by niotbillings on January 22, 2008 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Hey all.  We had a great weekend of events.  Please check out the press links below.  I think it is especially important to read the Gazette Online reader comments...if you had any doubt about how hateful people can be.

I try to shake these things off....and move forward.  I want to share something that Tammy Schnitzer said to me that I have never been able to express so simply.  She said "It's not the hate letters or calls--that actual words of hate that hurt...it's that they question your intention."

__Amen. 

Billings Gazette report on Panel Discussion

Billings Gazette report on Bell Ringing Ceremony

KTVQ 2 on MLKJ Day

KTVQ 2 News Report on When Hate Happens Here

KULR 8 MLKJ Walk

KULR 8 Report on Not In Our Town

KULR 8 reports on MLKJ Day

KULR 8 reports on NIOT Documentary

THANKS TO SPONSORS!

Posted by niotbillings on January 14, 2008 at 6:13 PM Comments comments (0)

Thank you Sponsors!!

The checks and pledges for the 2008 MLKJ Weekend Events have started to come in.  We want to thank:

Montana PRIDE Network

National PRIDE Foundation

PFLAG

AIDspirit

Wells Fargo Bank

Yellowstone Presbytery

First Congregational Church

Planned Parenthood

Yellowstone AIDS Project

Montana Human Rights Network

Montana People's Action

Exxon Mobile

Conoco Philips

Albertsons

Thanks to the following individuals:

Maggie Lough

Michael & Linda Crummett

The Ed & Jessica Stickney

Betty & Paul Whiting (Dave Henry Memorial)

 


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