By: Carleen Casey
On a beautiful Saturday morning, one could hear great music from miles away. If one followed the music to its source, they would have found the Lemons to Lemonade counter-rally, where Boiseans gathered and local musicians played.
The Idaho Black History Museum hosted Lemons to Lemonade as a peaceful counter-rally event on Saturday, Sept. 30 to celebrate the diversity of Boise. As a white supremacist group called the Hammer Skins were having a rally on the same day, this protest was to show Boise that the future is bright and should not be filled with hate. With music and celebration in the atmosphere, Idahoans seemed happy to be a part of the Boise community and spread culture.
Boise State students attended the rally to be a part of the celebration of diversity. According to freshman Babiana Ortiz, Lemons to Lemonade was a good example of peaceful protest.
“Lemons to Lemonade is what a civil protest should be. Just recognizing there are certain biases, and certain people who do believe in certain things,” Ortiz said. “You don’t have to accept it. You can put in your thought, and also pursue your own agenda too.”
During the rally, people seemed to be enjoying the music that was playing and the speeches people gave about how bright the future can look.
“I hope Boise State students receive recognition, recognition that is respected,” said Phillip Thompson, board president and director of the Idaho Black History Museum. “There is a reason we’re doing (the counter-protest). There’s a why, and we have to understand that why.”
Thompson attended the rally and commended Boise for its inclusivity in such divisive times.
“The biggest thing we are trying to capture is that if you look around, you see a diverse crowd of people here. This shows Idaho is not the message we get painted as. (We get painted as) a message of hate while the white supremacists are having a concert here,” Thompson said. “Idaho–Boise in particular–is a rather inclusive, accepting city, and that is what we stand for. Not what the white supremacist is trying to put out there.”
Thompson went on to detail the importance of student involvement, asserting that universities are where change can be made.
“The most important aspect of getting this movement going–whether it be inclusion and diversity–is the youth,” Thompson said. “Colleges, for the most part, are the epicenter for progressive thought, or for the notion of ‘hey let’s do things a little differently.’”