2005-05-21 Muskegon Chronicle Group plans to oppose whites only discussion

Group plans to oppose “whites only” discussion
Muskegon Chronicle

An Ottawa County group is asking area residents to reject a group with racist overtones and to attend a forum June 2 in Grand Haven. The forum is in response to organizers of a picnic and political discussion who posted fliers in Grand haven, Ferrysburg and Fruitport earlier this week. Those fliers urged people of “pre-dominate white ancestry” to attend a picnic and political discussion, though the time and location weren’t posted.

Now, the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance is urging the public to “reject a whites-only mind-set and to commit to fostering a community that includes and respects all its members,: according to a press release. The group has scheduled the forum for 7-9 p.m. June 2 at the Lakeshore Middle School auditorium, 900 S. Cutler, Grand Haven.

Leaders from local government, education, business and churches will be invited. “We don’t think that chain of thought-the white-only mindset, organizing an activity that’s just for whites only-really represents the values of the Tri-Cities area,” said Brain Wheeler, one of the organizers of the forum. “So what we’re looking at doing is having a forum to give the community a chance to come out and express their views.

“We would look to, in the end, come out with some type of document that people would be willing to sign that (the white-only event) is not a representation of this community,” Wheeler said. “Our ultimate goal is to bring the community together.”

Police said the primary organizer of the whites-only picnic, Cory Kent Traxler, 22 of 13625 State, Nunica, has been warned to stop posting the fliers in right of ways, public parks and public buildings. Traxler recently rented a Spring Lake Post Office box under the name White Voices of America. According to the flier, the event Traxler is organizing will be “family oriented” and will be “free of racial slurs and profanities.” Traxler said no date or time has been set for the event.

The flier states that White Voices of America “is a small group of people wishing to unite fellow white kindred to discuss and find ways to help problems facing white America and in your local community as well…affirmative action, immigration, our children’s schools and economic issues just to name a few.”

The Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance describes itself as a broad-based grassroots organization founded in 1996. The group holds meetings in the Holland and Tri-Cities areas focusing on issues of ethnic diversity. Its mission statement states: “The Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance seeks to dismantle racial, socioeconomic, and institutional barriers to ensure that people of all ethnic backgrounds have equal access and opportunity to participate fully in the life of the community.