Not In Our 


Town Billings

Subtitle

When Hate Happens Here

Posted by niotbillings on June 18, 2008 at 10:24 AM

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

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1 Comment

Reply Cindy Konecny
3:17 PM on June 25, 2008 
Lindsay, That is so beautiful and so true. This is our town and it is filled with wonderful, colorful people. Thank you for sharing your gift with us.