Letter: Couple harassed by "white power" chanting locals & Doolin "swastika"

by Shelia and Bob Schroeder

Dear Editor,

We would like to share with your community about an experience we encountered during the Thanksgiving holiday break.

We were on a recent trip to visit family in the Blackwell area when we left disappointed after experiencing an uncomfortable and disturbing interaction with members of your community.

We were on a nice relaxing walk in the downtown area on Saturday when a group of males in a pickup truck yelled ‘white power’ at us as they drove by. The males continued to yell degrading and negative comments about the current president as we continued to walk while they stopped at the next stoplight. To say the least, we felt threatened by the comments and actions of these males. We have no idea who the males were and what the purpose or intent of their comments were.

We ended our walk and retreated to our vehicle for our safety and left the downtown area. As we continued with our activities and visit with family in the community, we observed a swastika on a home built into the brick chimney. The home was on a main street in the city, easily visible from any passerby or community member.

These are troubling times for a lot of people, however being civil to mankind is one way to show respect for each other no matter our political views, the color of our skin or the culture we represent.

The communities we have visited in the past decade and more recently in the past year have not been as unwelcoming as the Blackwell community. While we understand and do know this hateful behavior may not represent the city or community of Blackwell, it is a lasting impression that we will have for the rest of our lives.

It will have a direct impact of whether or not we return to Blackwell for any reason. We respect the views of others, however, do not agree with subjecting others to rhetoric that is intimidating and makes other persons feel unsafe.

We believe it is important to share what occurred in Blackwell on Novem- ber 26, 2021, in hopes for change.

Thank you,

Shelia & Bob Schroeder Calmar, Iowa

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