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Friday, November 11, 2016

Hate message never had a chance

Hate message never had a chance

A column by John Anderson
Wellsville Daily Reporter
When the results of the 2016 presidential election were finalized, some of the hate that was shown at rallies, on social media and even at the kitchen table reared its ugly head.

Images of vandalism, racist and anti-Semitic acts and signs were popping up in the media and the Internet.

The largest and simplest image was in Wellsville. A large softball dugout with a large swastika and the words, in all caps, Make America White Again.

Two things could have happened in this rural community.

More division or a bond to stop this kind of hate, no matter who you voted for.

The latter happened.

This newspaper was questioned right off the bat on why we would publish such an image after it was reported to us. Some readers made an excellent point — this could trigger copycats.

To us, the answer was simple — it was news.

We do not publish suicides, we do not put bomb threats on the front page. We do publish someone getting arrested for a bomb threat.

This was a public display of hate.

But it also unintentionally served another purpose. Children, our family our neighbors and friends started talking. They talked about how this kind of hate is not tolerated. Hate toward all races.

Parents who have never or never intended to have a talk with their kids about why a swastika is offensive, or why certain words or graffiti or vandalism is wrong are having that talk at the dinner table.

Hopefully it’s happening nationwide.

As an elementary student, I had no idea why people would doodle a swastika on a desk or textbooks. On the way to school one day, my dad noticed a swastika drawn in black marker on one of my school-issued textbooks.

He pulled the car over, pulled out a pocket knife and cut into the hard cover, a perfect square. The swastika was gone.

During his time on earth, my father never discussed his time in the Army. Suddenly, he said, “I spent four years in Germany in the Army and that symbol stood for hate and I never want to see it again.”

His words and his actions when it came to treating all people equal resonated with me.

Whoever defaced that dugout didn’t hear those words.

The police were contacted. Chief Tim O’Grady, who has an open door with the press, made a statement explaining simple police policy and how they could handle

Even those comments were met with hate from Internet commentators.

Meanwhile, in a matter of an hour, a complaint was made from the Softball Association, the public was calling and coming into the police station trying to help with leads and the paint to fix the wrong was donated. Volunteers drove over and started painting.

Nameless volunteers.

They didn’t want credit, they just wanted this painted over.

The same people locally and around the country who shared the original photo did something else.

They shared the healing.

There were over 900 likes and 559 shares of the new dugout, painted over.

The person who is responsible for this may not have family or friends letting them know it was wrong today.

But the community let them know. The photo of hate from Wellsville is being replaced with a photo of healing across the nation.

And somewhere, my father is smiling.

(John Anderson is the regional editor. He can be reached at


Sandy said...

well said John.

Anonymous said...

Wow, What a well written article that should be read and discussed by families of all ages. And what a positive response from the community.
Truly a lemons to lemonade story that reaches far beyond Wellsville.
So glad to read it here, as we are not online very often, and can count on this site.
Blessings to all, A senior citizen from Potter County, PA☺

Janice Baker said...

I wish this could be read by everyone. Hate is an awful emotion. Let the healing begin.

Anonymous said...

Great article !!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mr. Anderson. What a powerful message. Thanks, too, for those coming forward so quickly to paint over the hateful graffiti. Good people for sure.

Anonymous said...

Should also cover the anti Trump people who encourage killing President elect Trump, cause property damage, physically hurt people they think support trump, and riot, all in the name of progressivism.

Anonymous said...

News that is not known is no news at all. Publishing ANY news about a negative message just spreads the negative message that much more. There is no reason to publish it!!! What is wrong with saying, "there was vandalism". There is NOTHING more toxic in this country then the media, large and small.

Anonymous said...

Hello to all.
No matter who any of us supported, election decided.
Surely many we knew were more concerned with those who were so prejudice with race and other,it surely took strong faith and convinction to display a sign that was not for Trump....And this is still America ,where all are supposed to feel free and safe. My name would be here, if i did not feel so uneasy with those who speak with much hatred and no thought of compromise toward peace.

From a Potter County SENIOR CITIZEN grandmother who prays for more peaceful country before a great grandchild arrives.Thank you for this place to contribute.I will not be looking at future responses here, as family first and more positive events on list.

bob said... mention of this originating in Ulysses this time? Wonder why that is?

Anonymous said...

I don't think it should be published either! All the media does is cause more damage.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, isn't this the 3rd day in a row I'm reading about graffiti? Is there truly nothing else to print?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

To 12:49 pm post today.
Why would you spend time on here complaining of old news,instead of moving forward ???
For some , probably it is new to read, as folks are mostly busy with other things.
Great to read here, and possibly respond, but we all have much to do and might read here long after it is was first posted.
Our family does so appreciate all Mr Jones and wife do ,so we can keep updated. He seems to be very fair and puts his name to his comments.
I am really in conflict to not use name here, but this is a very rural community.Sorry to say at times i feel safer if there was a random burlary or I encountered a bear --- then deal with those who may go beyond words to make their opinion known...but security is not far away.Faith also helps, so off to happier thoughts and deeds.

Anonymous said...

This really is important news and needs to be published. That is why there is freedom of the press, which none of really want to condemn this reporting or intervene in our rights also to know what is occurring. I think what is even more important is to do anything that can be done when the protesters harm other people, burn flags,and continue to damage property. The concept of this protesting is way out of proportion, I am referring to the hundreds of people involved in the process of condemNing the election.Calm and information would help this situation if the protesters would just try. None of us are happy with the current situation in government or in the streetsame either. Life and times are hard enough and violence isn't going to solve or change anything.

Anonymous said...

what the thing is with youg people they where looking at all the free thing that they tought they were going to get, they better start looking for a job because people work every day are tired of people who could work setting home getting all the free stuff that why they dont like trump if people dont like this country just pack your shit and leave you dont have to stray here and cause trouble bye the ship leaving for chinia all abroad

Anonymous said...

Thanks post 3.10, this is post 2.59. You said exactly what I meant to say. I am more concerned and afraid of what the kids protesting than I am of the graffiti. Violence is always a reason to be concerned. One girl they interviewed in the riots said, as she was crying that she would loose her birth control, and wouldn't be able to go to college now because the government wouldn't pay for it! Hope there is peace Soon! They need to wake up and know this is reality. No one is going to pay the whole free education except those who are willing to help themselves, we did it and made out fine!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Excellent ar5icle, we can disagree but we can be agreeable, these hate crimes have gone to extemes, thus just shows their intokerance of being a loser & where did it start, right from the top,Pres Obama has done nothing, also it is taught in the homes, children learn with they're taught, wrong is right, & right is wrong today ! Very sad, no respect, no manners, no compassion todsy, very little shown!

michelle said...

For the first time in almost eight years I am proud of this country, ,,,,again.

Anonymous said...

I guess looting and rioting are now defined as love. I guess the media didn't get the hint in the election that most people are tired of them covering only one side. The loonies on the left, right now, are much more dangerous than anything the far right can throw out there.

Anonymous said...

AMEN 4:47, ME TOOOOOOOOOOOOO........8 YRS OF HELL..........

Anonymous said...

It's like 100 lbs lifted off my shoulders, it's like you're given hope,AMERICA CAN BE AMERICA AGAIN

Anonymous said...

And guess who pd the protestors to protest, most of them were hired to come against Donald Trump !!!!!


Anonymous said...

posters 344 and 418 i am old work all my life and con make ss to pay house taxs they keep going up get 7300 dollas ss house 4000 dollas a year not much left so all the young people that getting the free stuff will have to work and pat there way for school like i had too.8years of shit i am out every day trying to get work at 80 years old they dont went you and not only that i hear young people i cant get a job there job out there if you went one it is not coming to you got go get it o no it is easyer to brake in to someone house and steal what they work for, they will make a mistake if they brake in house it will be the last one they will do texas lwa works the best aman

Anonymous said...

God bless you 9:21, 80 yrs old & still trying to work, most young people don't want to work, they want it all handed to them as well as the ones that receive assistance which they eat,live better than us that work, they need to be on their knees thanking us, we pay for everything they get free & than after thanking us, go get a job !!!!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry 9:21, These young people & some of those that are milking the system for 8 yrs will have to get out there & get a job, even some of them that are milking the disability system too, Trump will clean house, he's got a lot of SWAMPS TO DRAIN, you shouldn't have to be working at 80 yrs of age