Stopping hate, showing love in Clinton

Barb Arland-Fye
Clinton High School Principal J.R. Kuch leads participants in the annual “Stop the Hate/Show the Love” event outside the school on Sept. 17.

By Barb Arland-Fye
The Catholic Messenger

CLINTON — A peaceful protest this past summer against racism did not get much press because this community’s members have learned how to talk with one another. “That’s why we should make the news,” said Karl Wolf during the 22nd Annual “Stop the Hate/Show the Love” event on Sept. 17. The Clinton Peace Center, a ministry of the Clinton Franciscans, is among the event’s sponsors.

Wolf served as master of ceremony for the event that started inside Clinton High School with a welcome from Principal J.R. Kuch, who quoted Bryan Stevenson, the author of “Just Mercy” and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. Kuch encouraged the gathering of around 50 adults and children, all wearing face masks, to “focus on the things that bring us together rather than the things that divide us.” That will make the world a better place to live.
Clinton High School’s A’ Cappella Choir performed “Three Things” by Ryan Main and “Be the Change” by Marc Kaplan/Colin Britt. The young singers wore face masks as they sang softly but clearly. The “Three Things” referred to trust, love and care. “Be the Change” lyrics included “Be the change you want to see in the world and change will come to you.”

Clinton Police Department Captain Pat Cullen spoke about conflict resolution. “We have to sit down together, constantly, working on living by the golden rule,” he said. “We need to come to peaceful solutions (to problems). Political party affiliation, the color of one’s skin or social status does not matter. “We can work together; we’ve proven it,” he said.

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Afterwards, Kuch picked up the slender, white peace pole and led everyone to a grassy area outdoors for the gathering at the peace pole and release of butterflies. Attendees wearing face masks sang “Let There be Peace on Earth” and young children released butterflies from a mesh basket to fly gracefully into the sky.


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