Dialogue over parade entry is healthy

Published 9:27 am Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It’s a sticky subject that is easy to sidestep, but the topic of immigration also strikes the very heart of America’s history. The online version of the Tribune story “Sign in parade prompts questions” as of this morning had nearly 60 posted comments. Many others have sent letters to the editor. This is all good because people want to know what others say.

It was a parade to celebrate Independence Day, after all. Women soldiers of World War II led the parade. They fought for freedoms. In many countries, they couldn’t even have so many people saying so many viewpoints.

We encourage people to continue this dialogue, whether it is online or by sending letters to the editor.

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Free speech is welcomed in all its forms. Dialogue itself is healthy for the community.

Throwing a rock at a sign in the parade is not speech. It is action. And in this case it harmed another person physically. It is a shame that teenage boys felt the need to hurl rocks at a sign opposing illegal immigration.

That said, it has been positive for this community to enter into a full-force, head-on discussion about illegal immigration. Is it good? Is it bad? Are the solutions proposed by Congress making any sense? Is it a racial matter? Is illegal immigration helping or hurting the economy?

You might agree with the comments or disagree. You might have agreed with the sign or disagreed. You might agree with the decision the parade committee will need to make next year or you might disagree. Either way, let’s remember the Independence Day aspect of it all.