The Black History Museum will host an event called “Lemons to Lemonade” at the Anne Frank Memorial in Downtown Boise on Sept. 30 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Lemons to Lemonade is a community event to be held in response to the Hammerfest—a concert being held in the Boise area on the same day—conducted by a white supremacist skinhead organization called the Hammerskins.
Lemons to Lemonade will feature Boise State student organizations of marginalized groups such as Intertribal Native Council, Afro-Black Student Alliance, the Inclusive Excellence Student Council and the Organización de Estudiantes Latino Americanos (OELA).
Tanisha Newton, a third year student and member of the Inclusive Excellence Student Council, is involved in promoting the event.
“The event itself is held so people won’t go physically counter protest the concert. Our event is to make those people come here as opposed to going to the front lines,” Newton said.
The Hammerskins have come to the Treasure Valley before, according to Newton, always at an undisclosed location and time. As a form of peaceful counter protest, Newton said Lemons to Lemonade will include an hour of music by the Afrosonics–a nine person Afro-Indie Boise band–and speakers who will discuss the history, current climate and steps forward regarding white supremacy in Idaho.
Fructuoso Basaldua, a McNair Scholar and student representative for OELA, will be attending this event along with his organization.
“Its cool to be a part of something positive that is a counter of an event that is based on white supremacy and hatred towards others,” Basaldua said. “You could try to shut the concert down, literally, but that could be violent and this is a peaceful counter.”
Both Basaldua and Newton said there will also be booths set up by the student organizations and community organizations, as well as an ongoing fundraiser. The money collected will go directly back to these Boise State student organizations. According to the event’s GoFundMe, $1,670 has been raised, with the goal being $2,000.
Newton said with recent incidents around Boise–including the Linen Building being vandalized by white supremacists and the fliers in Hyde Park labeled “racism is love”–it is important for Boise community members to be aware and involved in events that counter hate.
“There is always a huge problem with people thinking that it’s not their problem, but hate is so real in our own backyard, so we just really want to push and get the donations to send the message out,” Newton said.
Newton also said in the past, when the white supremacist were in Idaho for the Aryan Nations, opposition groups came together with a fundraiser by the same name. To contrast their intolerance with support, they created Lemons to Lemonade. The Black History Museum chose the same name to pay respect to the efforts before theirs, and to remind the white supremacists that their intolerance can be turned into metaphorical lemonade.
“Hammerfest is not trying to build anything, it’s just a celebration of white supremacy that costs $20 to enter and the money is going to these hate fueled organizations,” Basaldua said. “With us there is no superiority complex, it’s just a group of students and community members getting together to directly support these student organizations.”