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by David Oliphant, DRE #01949984

I refuse to expect hate as the new normal…

As you may (or may not know) I sit on a few local board of directors here at the coast. One is the Downtown Merchants Association, the other is CoastPride, a 2 year old not-for-profit organization created to support the LGBTQ community and it’s allies. 

Recently CoastPride announced it was opening a center on Main Street, a historic event as this has never taken place here at the coast. The outpouring of support has been wonderful, both financially and with people coming forward expressing their appreciation, offering to volunteer, donations, etc. Being a founding member of the board it’s been very rewarding to watch our goal be realized. 

Until the permanent signage goes up, a banner was hung on the front railing that read “CoastPride…Stronger Together”. After about a week and in broad daylight, someone took a razor blade and cut it down. I would bet your initial response is “were there security cameras?” The answer is yes, from a neighbors property, plus CoastPride will be installing camera’s of their own.  I think the bigger question is, why would a banner upset someone so much they felt the need to vandalize private property , on Main Street, in broad daylight ? I remember a few people saying, “well, at least it lasted a full week before it was destroyed”, an unfortunate reality we had come to be expect. Yes, a police report has been filed and yes, a new banner has been hung up in its place. (CoastPride has an endless supply of banners, the vandal will grow weary ☺ )

This made me recall another downtown business owner that placed a “black lives matters” sign in their business window. No doubt meant as a call for unity for all people, not only at the coast, but worldwide. I was shocked to read the following week that this business owner received death threats for doing so. Now they fear for the lives of their family, here – at our quiet little coast. 

While we may be a small, close knit , welcoming and kind community, people filled with hate and prejudice live here too, even in this day and age. I wish I could say that I understood, but I don’t. I refuse to expect hate as our new normal and truly do believe, if we keep showing up, being kind, accepting everyone regardless of their differences, not only will our coast be a better place for all people to live, it will spread throughout the beautiful state of California and hopefully throughout the nation.   We should not expect hate as our new normal, nor do we have to accept it. Lets not let the hatters win, lets accept each other and “live and let live”, because we truly are stronger together. 

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