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Civility rally a Nugent alternative

A group of citizens is holding a Rally for Civility from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 5 at New Denmark Park. Musicians from the community will perform live music, including many favorite folk tunes. Volunteers will also be running a kids’ carnival with arts, crafts, games and prizes. This free event will provide at least a small counterweight to the divisive and abusive language that Ted Nugent, who’ll be performing at the county fair that night, frequently uses at his concerts and during interviews.

It’s in the fair board’s mission statement to have a “moral, clean fair which will command the support of the whole community,” and it has usually upheld that standard, but this year it has brought in a performer who habitually denigrates women and minorities in public forums. One of his songs (“Jailbait”) describes his sexual pursuit of a 13-year-old girl. We’re disturbed by his pattern of behavior and even more disturbed that he was chosen to represent our fair in spite of it. We want to send a positive message that Albert Lea is a civil, welcoming community and a great place to raise children.

While the event is sponsored by private citizens, the name of the event is influenced by Freeborn County’s Choose Civility program, which emphasizes “the power of words.” The organizers are inspired by the program’s invitation to “choose respect, consideration, empathy and tolerance … and be a part of a kinder community in Freeborn County!”

 

Jennifer Vogt-Erickson

Albert Lea