Petition to delay the opening of The Black Flag sign now

To the members of:
The Odessa City Council

The past few days have been a crash course in hate. This isnt a situation anyone in our community decided was a good idea that maybe we should educate ourselves in order to protect ourselves.

It is a situation that was brought to Odessa by an outsider and we use that term intending for it to carry multiple meanings.

We are faced with a problem that isnt home grown. It was brought to Odessa to our area from the outside.

And, the person responsible is not like minded with the residents of Odessa. Hes not an individual who has taught tolerance and acceptance. He does not have a history of uniting. He has one of hate, discontent and divisiveness.

In a few short days hundreds of concerned citizens of Odessa and the surrounding area have come together to educate ourselves and analyze the situation that The Black Flag Club has caused.

We were fortunate to have a well-known expert on white supremacy and hate groups to take a look at The Black Flags Web site and Mr. Jubas past.

We posed the question should we be concerned.

Her answer is yes.

With the help of Professor Abby Ferber, we have compiled educational information on how to deal with hate groups.

A copy of the letter has been provided to the city council to allow them to duplicate and distribute the information. But we will quote, what we consider to be at the heart of the matter surrounding The Black Flag operated by Mr. Juba the part that explains why as a community invested in the well-being of our youth, should be concerned.

Professor Ferber writes:

Another red flag is the title for the club: The Black Flag Club, a name associated with William Quantrill. Why name the club after -- not only a civil war hero, but one recognized as one of the most savage guerilla warriors most remembered for his role in the Lawrence massacre -- one of the most brutal battles, where an anti-slavery stronghold was attacked and 150 people murdered. In looking him up on the web, every site refers to him and his raiders as exceedingly cruel and vicious, and strong proponents of slavery. Why would anyone choose to name a club for teens in honor of this man and his legacy? Is this a legacy we want our children to be proud of?

Pride. Its usually considered a good term. Something we want to instill in our children. Pride in good works. Pride in accomplishments.

Throw one little word in front of it and the meaning changes White Pride.

Children especially teens are impressionable and vulnerable targets for groups promoting hate. They are the prime target for recruitment by these groups.

There is material included in Council packet that points this out in no uncertain terms.

Our children are a target. Plain, pure and simple.

Mr. Juba has not renounced his past actions of hate. He has not disputed his involvement in any of the white supremacy groups some of which he has even led. He has given us nothing more than I keep my opinions to myself.

In reality, he has done more than share his opinion. His opinion is a big black flag waving in our faces. He probably thought or hoped we would be too busy, too unconcerned, maybe too small town and uneducated to figure it out.

Well, we did. We just hope its not too late.

If this club opens, is the city of Odessa ready to share in the responsibility in protecting our youth something our police officers take very seriously? But with our limited resources are we willing to put them and our children at risk? Is the citys insurance prepared for a legal challenge if the situation does go wrong?

Unfortunately, there are for more questions than answers. And moving far at this point is the city legislative equivalent of Russian Roulette.

Is the chamber loaded or empty?

Are we really ready to pull the trigger?

We, the citizens of Odessa, along with the concerned parents in the surrounding communities, urge the city council to help us in protecting our children.

While options may be limitedwe respectfully call on the Odessa City Council to delay Mr. Juba in opening the club while you educate yourselves as we have in order to represent and protect the citizens you have vowed to serve.

We the undersigned represent citizens of Odessa and the surrounding area.

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Chandra BarrettBy:
TelecommunicationsIn:
Petition target:
Odessa City Council

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