As a participant in last year’s parade with the Only One Earth Coalition, I can attest to the fact that we were met with support and enthusiasm by the parade’s audience.
This year, the coalition’s application to be in the parade was denied, apparently because of concerns about some signage being viewed as “political.” The term political can be defined in various ways. Here is one definition from Merriam-Webster: of, relating to, involving or involved in politics, and especially party politics.
The coalition represented a broad cross-section of individuals and groups who are part of the fabric of this community. There were no signs promoting a political party involved in electoral politics.
If promoting peace, environmental sustainability and human rights in a holiday parade have become too controversial in the “Christmas season,” then we are certainly in a sad state indeed. Parade organizers seem to have no problem with the overt commercialization of the season, yet it has a problem with the expression of universal values that might actually lead to “peace on Earth” and “goodwill toward all?”
I’ve lived in Asheville for 45 years and have been a co-founder of three schools here —Rainbow Community School, Shalom Children’s Center and Francine Delany New School for Children, in addition to teaching in the public schools. I’d say I have been committed to the betterment of this community for years, yet somehow, I and my colleagues in the Only One Earth Coalition are some kind of a threat to the organizers and promoters of the parade?
— Anne Craig