A year and a half ago, my husband and I moved to Cumberland from Minneapolis following his retirement. After traveling through here 40-plus summers to our island home up north and talking to friends who live in the area, we thought we could expect attitudes here to be similarly open-minded to those in Minnesota, a factor that attracted us to this region.
So we were shocked when, before the election, our lawn sign supporting Hillary Clinton disappeared. Later we found it crumpled in the woods near our house. Then, recently, we found in a wet ditch near our road, with the apparatus that holds it dismantled, a sign we put up that says: “Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights are Human Rights, No Human is Illegal, Love is Love, Science is Real and no matter your religion or ability, Kindness is All.”
The mangling of our signs feel like violent acts, disturbing and hurtful. I set the second one up again with a note attached that says, “Disagree if you must, but please, in the name of democracy, do not take down this sign.” The kind of erosion of safety, tolerance and decency that troubles and outrages us when we read the news has finally hit home.
Fellow residents, what are we to do? Can we not have dialogue? We are more than willing to listen to those who disagree with us if they are able to speak of and from their own pain, as we would also promise to do.
Susan Deborah King