Editor, The Beacon:
DeLand is the “Athens” of Florida. With the oldest institution of higher learning in the state, the Best Mainstreet in the USA, adjacent to the Fern and Bass Capitals of the World, hugged by the picturesque St. Johns River, DeLand offers a unique blend of communities, historic neighborhoods, cultural, educational, recreational opportunities, and fulfilling livelihoods.
Emulating its Grecian namesake, the center of DeLand has become an intersection not only of state and federal highways, but also of diverse religious and political ideas. From its four corners on Friday evenings, are lively, but peaceful, conversations between diverse groups and motorists. Those peaceful conversations are now threatened.
On 9/4, Democrats gathered on those four corners, mingling with the usual groups, to wave signs in support of their presidential candidate. Not long thereafter, a long line of big-wheel trucks and cars came roaring through the intersection, blaring air and vehicle horns, flying Trump signs, banners and American flags. From some of the passing vehicles, motorists shouted angry obscenities and insults.
On 9/11, that Trump Parade was longer, much louder, and even more obscene, insulting, and menacing: “Biden is a pedophile!” The loud parade drove through the intersection four times, twice in each direction. Twice, a white truck stopped in the middle of the intersection, deliberately backfired twice, then emitted a dense cloud of stinging, choking, black smoke.
We live together in a beautiful town, in a beautiful state, in a wonderful country. We have much in common. We help each other through tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, and pandemics. Are we not able to discuss our political differences with mutual compassion and respect? Do we not know where this road leads?
Please walk softly. Everyone is hurting.