Mayor Larson Responds to Friday Protest Outside Her Home
DULUTH, Minn.-On Friday night, a group of protesters circled Mayor Emily Larson’s neighborhood for about 30 minutes after she recently made comments about President Trump calling him a “white supremacist.”
Below is her response to the protest on her Twitter account.
This weekend a Trump truck rally came to my house. Turns out, when you speak up to criticize someone for being selfish, divisive and racist, twenty or more vehicles show up to absolutely prove you right.
Revving engines, honking, flashing lights, loads of flags. They circled the neighborhood three times, for about a half hour. Doug and I stood in the window to wave at them for awhile, then went back to eating dinner.
Exercising free speech is one thing, and it’s important. Blocking access to emergency response for an entire neighborhood is another.
If you’ve been on my Hillside street, you know that it’s narrow, unpaved and not a great one for this kind of activation. At one point they were at a literal stand still because of a traffic jam of their own making.
I write this post, really, for three reasons. I am not seeking any sympathy at all. Full stop. I feel strongly about my view, I shared it, and people are allowed to disagree with me. However…
- This tale is as old as time: A woman speaks up, some men who don’t like it choose harassment, intimidation and threatening behavior in an attempt to change her. We had a good view of the drivers. Could women have been involved? Sure. But I didn’t see any. This was simply another example of an attempt to utilize power to control a woman who, in their estimation, stepped out of order.
- If you see something, say something. Several neighbors have videos and photos of vehicles with license plates. Since this happened, two other people have reached out to me with images and videos of their own of separate accounts of these same vehicles circling them in their cars, yelling racist taunts and harassing others. Regardless of political views, this is not acceptable, safe or decent. Please call 911 if this happens to you or someone else.
- You are the writer of your own script. You do not need to play a role in someone else’s drama. I get asked this all the time by people: how do you handle all the unchecked critique, all the keyboard comments, all the drama? It’s actually simple. I just don’t take it on. I take responsibility for my own plot line and let other people handle theirs. This parade was their plot line. Calling out what I see to be true as the decline of our country’s humanity and decency is mine.
Every single day we fly our American flag at our house. Because we truly love this country and believe that democracy requires our full and forthright participation to create a more perfect union. I am going to keep doing my part, and I hope that you continue to safely do yours.
My family and I are fine and thank everyone for checking in with us – extra thanks to our incredible neighbors. In our neighborhood, we are ready to “Stand down and stand by” with an abundance of love, connection and justice.