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Wed Dec 28, 2016, 06:53 PM

A stone ignites a community: Billings, Montana, stood up to white supremacists

A stone ignites a community: Billings stood up to white supremacists

Stories By SUSAN OLP solp@billingsgazette.com Dec 2, 2013


A paving stone hurled through a child’s bedroom window 20 years ago did much more than shatter glass. ... It wrote the first words of a story that has nearly become a myth. .... News accounts at the time tell how hate group activity in Billings was brewing in the fall of 1992. Then in January 1993, the Montana Association of Churches held an ecumenical service in downtown Billings and sponsored a march.

Then on the evening of Dec. 2, {Dr. Brian Schnitzer} was working in his basement while a babysitter watched Isaac and 2-year-old Rachel in another room. Wife Tammie was out at a meeting. ... The double-paned window in Isaac’s room was decorated with symbols of Hanukkah, including a menorah, a dreidel, a Star of David and the words “Happy Hanukkah.” ... Schnitzer thought he heard a noise. When he went upstairs, he found that Isaac’s bedroom was cold, and when he flipped the light switch, he realized the light was broken. ... “I found a little piece of a paving stone between the two beds,” Schnitzer said. “We happen to have some paving stones by a water faucet outside and they picked up a portion of one and threw it through the window.”

{Margie MacDonald, now a Montana legislator who was then Montana Association of Churches (MAC’s) executive director} read a newspaper article in which officials advised Tammie Schnitzer to remove the symbols from the window. ... “For some reason it popped into my head that would really be the wrong thing to do,” she said. ... Instead, she called her pastor, the Rev. Keith Torney, and suggested First Congregational United Church of Christ pass out paper menorahs for members of the congregation to place in their windows.

Then The Gazette illustrated an editorial with a small menorah. That gave then-region editor David Crisp the idea to publish a full-page color image of a menorah. He pitched the idea to publisher Wayne Schile, who gave him the go-ahead. ... “I got John Potter to draw it and went to the ad department and scheduled it and then wrote some text for it,” Crisp said. “And then I guess it was the following Saturday that it came out, and I thought it was pretty cool. They always said there were 10,000 menorahs out there. There were a lot.” ... Vandals broke windows in some houses and businesses where the paper menorahs were displayed, but people continued to show them. Rick Smith, store manager of Universal Athletics, posted a message on his sign board: “Not in Our Town! No Hate. No violence. Peace on Earth.”

Not in Our Town: 20 years later. Gazette photos from the events that led up to the creation of Not in Our Town.

[font size=1]On Dec. 11, 1993, The Billings Gazette printed a full-page menorah that was displayed in homes and businesses throughout the area.[/font]

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Reply A stone ignites a community: Billings, Montana, stood up to white supremacists (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Dec 2016 OP
virgogal Dec 2016 #1
mahatmakanejeeves Dec 2016 #2

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2016, 07:33 PM

1. This is about Anti-Jew not white supremacy. Jews are white.


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Response to virgogal (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 28, 2016, 07:40 PM

2. That doesn't matter. All that counts is that they are "the other."

I take it you haven't been following the story closely. I have some other threads in GD that elaborate.

Thanks for writing.

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