Letter: Hateful rhetoric not welcome in IC

Recently, a large float-like vehicle displaying signage saying things like “All Lives Matter” and “Trump” rolled through the streets of downtown Iowa City. In response, 271 people — some Iowa City locals and others from around the nation — signed a petition asking Rob Cortis and his large Trump vehicle to leave our community.

As members of the Iowa City and surrounding communities, we care very much about cultivating an anti-racist and inclusive city. Therefore, we will not tolerate hateful images, rhetorics and behaviors here. We accept and believe in our community members — regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, language, and ability.

Some might argue that Cortis’s float was simply a demonstration of free speech. However, when this so-called “free speech” is asserted by white-supremacist and Nazi groups, nurtured by Trump, and comes to our city, we have no tolerance. White-supremacist views are not part of our values. It is neither right nor just for some of us to freely display and speak hate, while others are silenced and made to fear for their safety.

We ask that Cortis not bring his large vehicle through Iowa City again, but if he must, we ask that he remove the hateful rhetoric from the vehicle.

To sign the petition, visit https://www.change.org/p/the-people-who-own-the-trump-bus-float-get-the-trump-white-supremacy-bus-off-of-uiowa.

Corey Hickner-Johnson

Iowa City

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