I read Jennifer Hill’s confederate flag story in its entirety and found the piece well written and sensitive to differing views. My objection is your newspaper’s implied endorsement of a hate symbol by front page placement.
This was the standard held high by treasonous men who shot and killed U.S. Army soldiers. It remains a putrid reminder of this country’s festering racism, and was more recently displayed by mass murderers with machine guns.
I have little patience with the heritage trope and see the stars and bars as glorifying white nationalism, anger and raw hatred.
Jennifer Hill’s article “… A Matter of Freedom,” raised the issue of whether Confederate flags should be marketed at county fairs such as ours, in Morris.
One side of the issue is well stated there. The vendor quoted was a reasonable individual who articulated the rights of all citizens to symbolically express themselves with displays of flags. There is “more and more buying both the rebel flag and the American flag together,” he remarked.
Historically, Confederate flags have symbolized support for slavery and secession from the USA. Most recently the flag in question has become a symbol that inspires defiance by Alt-Right and White Nationalist groups that promote random violence against non-white people.
Recall the photos of Dylan Roof in Charleston, S.C., and recent mass murders in other American cities. Just as the Nazi flag is seen as a dangerous perversion of contemporary German nationalism, the Confederate “rebel” flag is now ominous for many of us, a symbolic perversion of American nationalism.
No one should question the Constitutional right of individuals in this country to possess or display confederate flags: They still mean many things to different people.
Rather, given the context of increased polarization and mass murders by domestic terrorists, the question is simply: Do we want our county fair(s) to permit the display and sale of Confederate flags? For many of us here, as in Delaware County and throughout the state, the answer is NO!
PUPPET SHOW – 7:30 p.m. Catskill Puppet Theater presents, “The Willow Girl,” about adventures of 3 young immigrant children and a magical willow tree on the American Frontier. Free, suggested donation $20/person. Franklin Stage Company, 25 Institute St., Franklin. 607-829-3700 or visit www.franklinstagecompany.org
MORRIS – Lisa Jones, manager, Otsego County Fair, wants to make sure everyone can enjoy the fun.
“During our annual meeting in Rochester, I heard about a fair that turned off their lights and sounds for people who have sensory sensitivities, and I knew we had to do it here,” she said. “I immediately brought it back to our board, and they agreed.”
On Wednesday, July 31, the fair will host their first “Think Differently Day,” where, from noon – 2 p.m., the midway will refrain from using music and sound, lights and overhead sound – including announcements – to make the fair more accessible to people with sensory sensitivities.
“I think this is a really cool thing that we’re able to do,” said Jones.
FAIR OPENING – Noon. Celebrate opening of the Fair with NY State Sire Stake Harness Racing, Fire Service/School Band Parade, fireworks show, much more. Otsego County Fair, 48 Lake St., Morris. 607-263-5289 or visit www.otsegocountyfair.org
O-COUNTY FAIR – 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. See best Otsego County has to offer. Daily shows, rides, more. Highlights include demolition derby, cake walk, chain saw art auction, goat show, dessert contest, more. Otsego County Fair, Mills St., Morris. 607-263-5289 or visit www.otsegocountyfair.org
MUSIC FESTIVAL – 7:30 p.m. Enjoy music by world renowned jazz guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli with Mike Karn, bass, and Andy Watson, drums. Trio performs works by George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Antonio Carlos Jobim, others. Ballroom, The Otesaga, Cooperstown. 800-838-3006 or visit www.cooperstownmusicfest.org/events/
ART & MUSIC – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Outdoor street festival featuring outstanding regional artists, crafters, musicians, writers, more. Main St., Oneonta. 607-432-2070 or visit cityofthehillsartsfestival.com
O-COUNTY FAIR – 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. See best Otsego County has to offer. Daily shows, rides, more. Highlights include equestrian Gymkhana, bicycle giveaway, truck pull, livestock parade of champions, Supreme Champion Showmanship, talent contest, more. Otsego County Fair, Mills St., Morris. 607-263-5289 or visit www.otsegocountyfair.org
FABULOUS FRIDAY – 5:30 – 8 p.m. See classic cars at Tom and Doug’s Cruise In Car Show. Enjoy music by Off The Record, tastings by Northern Eagle Beverages. Main St., Oneonta. 607-432-2941 or visit www.facebook.com/DestinationOneonta/
O-COUNTY FAIR – 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. See best Otsego County has to offer. Daily shows, rides, more. Highlights include agriculture day, 2Xtreme racing monster truck show, beef show, contradancing, more. Otsego County Fair, Mills St., Morris. 607-263-5289 or visit www.otsegocountyfair.org
CONCERT – 7 – 8 p.m. Glimmerglass Opera Young Artist Quartet performs mix of opera, classic musical theater, including selections from West Side Story. Huntington Park, Oneonta. 607-432-1980 or visit hmloneonta.org/calendar/
THEATER – 1:30 p.m. Showing “Silent Night.” About the Christmas Eve Truce between German, Scottish, French soldiers during WWI. Cost, $26-$126. Glimmerglass Festival, 7300 St. Hwy. 80, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-2255 or visit glimmerglass.org/events/silent-night/
BENEFIT CONCERT – 6:30 p.m. Performance by The Butternut Valley Boys. Admission by free-will-offering toward on-going restoration. Lawn, Major’s Inn, Gilbertsville. 607-783-2967 or visit www.themajorsinn.com
O-COUNTY FAIR – 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. See best Otsego County has to offer. Daily shows, rides, more. Highlights include horse shows, tractor pulls, demonstrations, activities, music, more. Otsego County Fair, Mills St., Morris. 607-263-5289 or visit www.otsegocountyfair.org
WALKING TOUR – 7 p.m. Explore historic Emmons Farm with descendants, followed by refreshments outside Woodchuck Knoll. Cost, $7/person. Reservation required. Meet at The Farmhouse at Emmons, 5649 St. Hwy. 7, Oneonta. 607-432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org/upcomingevents.htm
OPENING – 6:30 p.m. 21st Annual Otsego County Fair Hymn Sing & Special Music at the Grande Building followed by the Agricultural Olympics. Otsego County Fair, Mills St., Morris. 607-263-5289 or visit www.otsegocountyfair.org
OTSEGO COUNTY FAIR – 8 a.m. Gates. Buildings open 10 a.m. Open to 9 p.m. Finale of the Fair. Come for the Demolition Derby, a Horse Show, a Goat Show, a Carnival, and more. Admission, $5. Fair Grounds, 469 Mill St., Morris. Visit www.otsegocountyfair.org for more information.
PADDLE & PULL – 1-3 p.m. Paddle and help OCCA pull remaining Water Chestnuts out of Goodyear Lake. Canoe/Kayaks available. Bring hat, sunscreen, water and expect to get a little wet. Registration preferred. Meet at NYS Fishing Access site, St. Rt. 28, Portlandville. Call (607) 547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/paddle-pull-goodyear-lake-3/
FESTIVAL – 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Take a walk through the City of the Hills Art and Music Festival and the Sidewalk Sale. Main St., Oneonta. www.facebook.com/CANOneonta/
FISHING DERBY – 4-5 p.m. Free “catch and release” fishing competition for children. Bring your own pole, bait/lures, and a clean bucket. Includes refreshments for participants and families. Enter a raffle by the Susquehanna Bass Association. Hodges Pond, Neahwa Park, Oneonta. Call 607-432-0680 or visit oneonta.ny.us/departments/parks-and-recreation/fishing-derby/