In response to a white supremacist concert reportedly taking place in the Boise area on Saturday night, the Idaho Black History Museum hosted a community gathering at the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial.
“We wanted to turn their sour, their hate, into something sweet (which is) our support of diversity,” said organizer Tanisha Newton, with Boise State’s Inclusive Excellence Student Council. The hourlong event, called Lemons to Lemonade, featured music, speakers and a fundraiser for ethnic organizations at BSU that raised more than $2,000 in donations and on GoFundMe.
Dan Prinzing, executive director of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, reminded people of the history of white supremacists — and human rights activists — in Idaho. “We have to keep saying it to remind each generation: We are too great for hate,” he said. “We mean it, we live it and we share it together.”
He quoted Bill Wassmuth, an activist in North Idaho, who died in 2002. “He said standing up for human rights is the best way to say no to prejudice.”
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Newton was pleased with the gathering, noting that Saturday was Yom Kippur, the Jewish holiday of atonement, as well as the beginning of the Islamic New Year.
“There is so much unity beyond the event itself,” she said. “I think (the positive energy) changes everything. I think it changes the environment in the community.”