Walk Against Hate


Dear Editor:

A Walk Against Hate will be held on Sunday, Oct. 10, at 2 p.m. at Melrose Heritage Park. There was a time when we rarely heard the word “hate” and hate groups were rarely heard from.

Unfortunately, hate has become enmeshed in our modern lifestyle. Now, hate speech is allowed in common vernacular, hate-fueled actions allowed in halls of Congress and higher learning, and even in places of worship.

We seem unable to avoid the torrent of vindictive acts that overwhelms the world. Yet, we must step away from the torrent and turn our attention toward building up our community. 

With this inclusive walk we hope to achieve “unity” in our community by coming to terms with the wrongs of our past and begin to make strides toward improving our future. We acknowledge the damage that racism and bigotry cause in the lived experiences of all our citizens, and we are eager to start an honest healing process.

Let us begin by walking against hate, by walking toward a more just and equitable community. We can come together and share a sense of optimism, trust and mutual support.

There will be music and food trucks as attendees gather, followed by short speeches and the walk itself. We will hear from Marihelen Wheeler, Alachua County commissioner; Yvonne Hinson, State Representative House District 20; Latoya Anderson Robinson, candidate for Putnam County Commission District 2; and Pete Ackerman, Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice.

The walk will be approximately a mile through Melrose to emphasize that there is a need to overcome hate speech, thought and actions from our community, and to welcome diversity in our daily lives.

This walk is sponsored by the Florida Anti-Defamation League, Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice, and the Democratic Women’s Club of the Lakes Area.

Kate Ellison