I’m responding to your Aug. 15 story “State, local officials condemn attack at rally.” My mother-in-law served as a U.S. Naval Reserve WAVE in World War II. Stationed in California, she processed our brave soldiers returning from the Pacific war. For African-American World War II veterans, she planned train journeys through northern states because when these brave men crossed into the Jim Crow South, they were forced to finish their journey home in the back of second-class cars.
How horrifying for all our World War II veterans, who bravely fought the Nazis, to read that a local Republican leader, David Gellatly, would equate “hate groups like the KKK” and neo-Nazis with the civic group known as Black Lives Matter. Gellatly’s statement is ignorant at best and hateful at worst.
I was furthermore chagrined that The Columbian characterized BLM as a “movement that’s been criticized for encouraging violence toward law enforcement.” What? I have personally attended several meetings of the Vancouver BLM group. BLM promotes nonviolence, respectful discourse, and education to address the violence and hateful speech perpetrated against black people in our community and across the country. The local BLM has never condoned violence. Research the constructive, peaceful, civic-minded work of BLM and form your own conclusions.