- Editor’s note: Yelm has joined the peaceful Black Lives Matter nationwide protests. See story at bottom.
- Statement from the Yelm Police Department
“Today, I felt hope. Yesterday I felt despair. Yesterday five or six teenagers stood peacefully on the sidewalk and protested. They were met with hatred. They were assaulted, threatened, called n***** lovers. Online, people reacted with fear and anger. They accused them of violence and being antifa. I despaired for my town. I was angry. I love Yelm, I love my neighbors and friends and fellow business owners. I reject the notion that this is a hateful, bigoted backwater. I absolutely reject it. But I felt it yesterday. I spent today in a depressed fog. But today, today was special. Those same kids showed up, defiant in the face of hate. About 70 other people showed up in support. They lined the street, held signs, and demanded equality. People driving by honked and waved in support. Yes, a few people showed hostility (with their middle finger, mostly). People brought water and food. People showed up who didn’t necessarily support the protest, but they showed up to make damned sure that the protesters’ First Amendment right to protest was protected. It was peaceful. Loud, but peaceful. There were people from all walks of life, old, young, people of color. People were there to say that this isn’t us. We reject endemic racism and we are allies. This. Is. Not. Who. We. Are. And, I have to admit that the entire time I was there, I was fighting back tears. I felt hope. I was proud of my town. The people honking and waving outnumbered the people flying the bird by a ridiculously large margin. I’m proud of my town tonight. I’m proud of these kids. They’re going to rule the world some day. This is America. For you all who reacted by flipping us off, shouting at us, peeling out in your giant penis-envy trucks so we were left in a cloud of black smoke, your time is up. You’re done. This isn’t your America any more. Please don’t turn this post into a shit show. I’ll delete your post and delete you from my friends list. There are 7 billion people in the world. I can find new friends.”