Dear Editor,

We want to thank you for bringing out the truth regarding former city council candidate Doug Hanks. It was an ice-cold slap to realize someone with this much duplicity was in our midst. We were stunned when The Rhinoceros Times asked us if we knew of this person’s background. It was a journey into the dark side.

Hanks knew about our viewpoints regarding history, regarding heritage and learning as a common ground. Our family is rich in diversity when it comes to different nationalities, and to find that this person has such extremist viewpoints was a shock of all shocks, especially when he looked us in the eye and lied to us. Angry doesn’t encompass the feelings we have over this, but we are wiser for the journey.

The one thing that sticks out about Doug Hanks is a betrayal of trust. Doug Hanks has never once made an attempt to express any remorse to us or explain his actions. If you are truly about positive changes, you cannot be a person filled with hate. We have seen enough of Charlotte politicians that lie to the public for their special agendas.

This makes you wonder what exactly Hanks’ special agenda would have been. How many Charlotte politicians are out there just to represent a certain few? Any leader needs to represent the whole human race, not just a chosen few. In the evidence that was presented to us, we came to learn various government jobs are filled with this type of thinking. Doug Hank’s actions boggle the mind and no amount of spin can or will justify hate. If this was truly just undercover research for Hanks, then why does he still post on the Stormfront website and why does he have racist tatoos?

Taking pride in your roots is for all people, not just a select few, and blaming others for ruining a certain nationality is ludicrous. There is the good, the bad and the ugly in any race. To learn history in its entirety is the only way to quell the myths, the mistruths and lies that allow this type of hate to fester in the souls of people. If you only have love for just your own race, you only leave space to discriminate and to discriminate only generates hate (Thank you Black Eyed Peas; keep up the message!) Racial hate is not a positive light; it distorts truth, learning and even heritage. Separatist or Supremacist – there isn’t any difference; it is based on a dislike of a certain race, whether it is black, white, purple or green.

Historic Preservation of Elmwood and Pinewood Cemetery has always stood for history and honoring all ethnic backgrounds. When we were confronted by various parties to drop Pinewood Cemetery from our fight, we made it clear that we are not, nor ever would be, racist in our views and positions. The fight to preserve a historic cemetery like Elmwood/Pinewood is a fight for all races and everyone’s heritage. It is sad that the racist mindset and way of thinking is alive and well in this day and age. That is why learning from our history is extremely important and preserving it in its entirety for future generations is the key.

Our family is made up of a large, diverse ethnic background, which we are proud of; to deny that heritage is to deny the very core of our being. All ethnic backgrounds and cultures should be celebrated, for it is what makes us the nation, community and city that we are.

Mark and Shanna Palmer

Historic Preservation of Elmwood and Pinewood Cemetery

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