I support Tom Ostrom’s unquestioned right to say just about anything he wants that falls under the broad protections of free speech. I don’t know Tom Ostrom, but I do know many of the people that feel targeted by his baseless claims. I do not agree with what he is saying and wish to express this to KROC, paid advertisers on KROC, and the community. That is my free speech. I have great respect for many of the people at KROC and know that quietly they don’t like what is being said either.
Here is a link to the Facebook page drawing attention to the actions of Mr. Ostrom. I am not sure if I can attend, that will depend on getting my kids ready for school.
I have listened to Mr. Ostrom a few times and often do not agree with him. I also believe that he crosses the line when he points to specific groups of people and makes broad generalizations like people with Muslim sounding names are predisposed to violence. I strongly disagree with his comments targeting immigrants, refugees, Muslims, etc.
My oldest daughter has a friend in school who is Muslim. His father is also a friend and was a victim of an unsolved hate crime in Rochester. The repeated banter against vulnerable peoples is contributing to America’s shameful increase in both hate groups and hate crimes. The actual facts show that right wing hate groups are for more dangerous to Americans than all foreign terrorists combined. Also more dangerous are opioids, alcohol, cars, bee stings, and probably heart attacks brought on by winning the lottery. Facts are stubborn things and certainly fly in the face of the fear mongering the Mr. Ostrom is engaged in.
Here is my message for the community. As an elected official; I welcome refugees, immigrants, and Muslims in Rochester (and every other group unfairly targeted). I do not support businesses lending financial support to propagating Mr. Ostrom’s speech. He is free to say what he wishes, but I would prefer his audience not be visitors considering living, working, or investing in Rochester. He paints a picture of Rochester that I wish to turn away from.
We shall see if other city officials and business leaders in Rochester are interested in building an inclusive community or just pretending.