Community Conversation tonight over hanging chairs

Empty chairs hanging from trees at a home across the street from an elementary school are being seen as a racist statement by some people in the community.
Tribune Staff
Oct 4, 2012

 

The Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance sees the situation as a chance to talk about the display and its possible meaning. The alliance and Grand Haven Area Public Schools will host a Community Conversation on the display from 7-9 tonight (Thursday, Oct. 4) in the Escanaba Room of the Grand Haven Community Center, 421 Columbus Ave.

The debate was sparked by Ken David, 15896 Comstock St. in Grand Haven Township — directly across the street from Peach Plains Elementary School — who hung two lawn chairs in his frontyard alongside political signs. However, David said the chairs are just a decoration, even though he admits to being a political activist.

"We were contacted by a Peach Plains staff member with concerns about the hanging chairs across the street," Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance Executive Director Gail Harrison said. "This community dialogue will provide an opportunity for the community to share concerns, identify ways to build a welcoming community, and discuss ideas on how to talk with their children."

Andre Daley, associated executive director of the alliance, said the alliance staff will provide residents at tonight's event with advice and tools to help them respond to similar incidents.

David said he won't attend tonight's forum, partly because he already has plans and partly because he wasn't formally invited by the alliance.

David was holding a series of signs at the corner of Beacon Boulevard and Washington Avenue in Grand Haven this afternoon. He said the signs promote liberty and freedoms.

"I'm doing it because I'm worried about what's happening to my country," David said.

Comments

Wingmaster

Did I read that right, the alliance did not invite Mr. David! Thought his display is what prompted the need for the meeting! Seems bias to me...I'm offended! I think we need a Lakeshore meeting on bias and inclusion in our community!

Tri-cities realist

LOL. Using the lefts way of thinking to turn it back on them sure is entertaining. The sad part is, some probably think you are serious and would take you up on your offer. Now that is a meeting I would attend.

brodennel

no one has YET how this is RACIST SHOW ME if you can

UseYourBrain

The speech Clint Eastwood gave was him talking to an empty chair. The empty chair represented our President, whom is 1/2 black. Therefore when someone takes a chair (that represents our president) and hangs it from a tree some people might take that lynching the president. If this was not what was intended then why wouldn't the chairs be taken down? There is a chair set up next to some Romney signs on the corner of Ferris and 152nd ave. that are no big deal beause they are not hanging. Why wouldn't he take the chairs down if that is not what he meant? If I did something that was taken as racist (that wasn't meant to be) I would do everything I could to rectify the situation.

ohwell

You answered your own question. "If I did something that was taken as racist (that wasn't meant to be) I would do everything I could to rectify the situation." It isn't meant to be racist, therefore he has nothing to rectify. Taking them down would only give those whining about a win. A win that isn't deserved, because they are whining about nothing.

UseYourBrain

The chair represents a person (our president) and its hanging from a tree, I don't understand how anyone can think this is ok!? The chair is a prop, but what if it was a maniqin hanging from the tree?

horst

So using you rationale of thought, if I hang a golf bag from a tree that would be racist too because Obama spent more time with his golf clubs than in the chair getting things done over the past year

UseYourBrain

A national speech was made that showed an empty chair representing our president, nothing to do with a golf bag. I am not trying to get in an argument here, a post was made asking how this was racist. I was simply stating why people were up in arms about it!

UseYourBrain

And yes, if I did something that offended so many people I would either thoroughly explain, or fix the issue!

ghresident

They just want to talk behind his back vs face to face......The Alliance must be chicken and want to hide there opinions.

John M

What a sad group of people. Maybe they should move to communist china.

horst

myself and two black work team members along with brodennel are still waiting for an explanation on the racist angle without jumping to ridiculous lengths to get there...Obviously the Lakeshore EDA has made up their mind, that's really sad.........people with an open mind "ARE STILL WAITING"

John M

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained personal attacks. Discussion Guidelines

Firstrose

Just so I'm clear on this article. Ken David SUSPENDS a chair from a tree across the street from Peach Plains Elementary School which has the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance Executive Director Gail Harrison, all tied up in knots and needing to call a meeting to do "More Sensitivity Training" in the Grand Haven Community.

Really??? So if I SUSPEND a tire (which is black) (and is shaped like an 0) from a tree in front of my house and call it a "Tire Swing" will Gail Harrison come to Muskegon to teach SENSITIVITY classes here?

I know their is a lot of RACISM going on on the black radio station here and their is lots of racism coming from the Hights. Yet, no one is willing to address this problem.

In fact, the mother's here in the Muskegon Hights have had to join forces to stop the Black on Black shootings that happen every night. But the Media around here doesn't report even a fraction of it.

If you Grand Haven people want some excitement, just go to Hackley or Mercy Emergency Entrance on any given night to see how the media fails to report this.

By the way Grand Haven, I understand that Peach Plains has two or three "Black Tire" Swings "Hanging" from trees on the school property.

ohwell

Firstrose.....stop using common sense. You know the media will never show the tragedy that happens every night in Muskegon Heights and Holland. You would think with a name like Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance, they would be crying about the crimes going in those towns. Oh wait those crimes are same race against same race, so that must make them alright.

Wingmaster

So why didn't the Alliance invite Mr David if he is as they accuse, a racist? Doesn't anyone see the irony here?

Lanivan

Reread the article. Ken David said he could not attend because he already had plans and had not been formally invited. This was an open forum, and anyone was welcome to attend. No one received specific invitations. Ken's individual liberties were not stripped by the forcing of his attendance by the alliance. Of course, if he believed so strongly in his right to free speech which is the basis for his hanging an effigy of our 1/2 black president from a tree for decorative purposes only, I would think he would feel entirely free to attend and join in on the alliances' Constitutional right to hold a public forum on racism and hate in our community. Oh - but he already had "other plans".

Wingmaster

.....HAD NOT BEEN FORMALLY INVITED. If he is the source of such community outrage, why wouldn't you formally want him invited. Doesn't he need to be "healed"!!

Tri-cities realist

If his display was not racially motivated, why would he need or want to attend a "diversity" forum? Other than perhaps to add some true diversity to the forum. Does diversity include white heterosexual conservative males, or are we exempt?

opinionscount

This is "Out of Control!" And, who came up with the name "Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance" in the first place. It's like preparing for a SAT test just to breakdown the meaning of the title.
Sounds like someone created an organization in order to obtain government grants so they can pretend they are providing a community service to a community who doesn't want their service.
And, do I understand correctly that "one" staff member from the school contacted them to complain and this has lead to a community meeting to discuss the harmful affects of chairs hanging from trees? LOL!!!

ArrozConPollo

This is the guy?? I saw this guy the other day standing at the side of the road. I didn't read the sign though. I thought he was a homeless guy - "There goes the neighborhood." I thought.

truthhurts

yep, you know its a no good community when the small guy stands up for himself and his rights. Yep..we need more people in the community to just bend over and take one for the team. You should go join the hoodlums in detroit, you would fit in with your roll over attitude.

warenjames88

Previously we have been witnessed many political activists in the roadway, but here the concepts of liberty as marked in the sign board holding by David in which we can found the note that liberty is not negotiable.

So from these kind of community conversation we got noticed many lacks and possibilities of political issues.

clear urine

 

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