Zoller You Made a Difference

From: angie zoller <zoller@hotmail.com>
Date: August 3, 2016 at 5:13:04 PM EDT

Dr. Bridges,

I am not sure if you are still receiving mail at this address but I thought I would try.


A year ago I was in your summer Human Relations class. This summer I have been busy organizing a Rally for Civility in Albert Lea. This spring our fair board announced Ted Nugent was one of their choices. I couldn’t believe it! After the Confederate flag fiasco during the 3rd of July parade the city has been working on a campaign to Choose Civility.  The mission statement says, “We choose respect, consideration, empathy, and tolerance as our fundamental values, enhancing Freeborn County’s way of life.”


Nugent’s invitation to perform was immediately met with resistance and then resistance to the resistance. It’s been an interesting 6 months. In response, a group of us organized the Rally for Civility. It’s a 2 hour folk concert with a kid’s carnival. We wanted a positive protest that offered citizen an alternative to Nugent’s show. See our fair charges for the concert at the gate. Everyone pays for the performer whether you attend the show or not. So if you go to the Freeborn County Fair you will be supporting Nugent.


The Rally was covered last Sunday in the Star Tribune. The article inspired an almost 30 minute debate on KFAN that Sunday too. Now today the New York Daily News also contacted us for an interview. Even Nugent himself went so far as to address us on Facebook: “Clearly I am doing God’s work as the America hating lying Saul Alinsky scumdogs are all pissed off! Remember, if you’re not pissing off the assholes, you are an asshole! Glory Glory Hallelujah! Watch the devils squirm! Hopefully we will get photos/vid of the dopey protestors with their American Communist Party regalia xposing their disdain for personal hygiene. Precious!”


Nugent calling me a dopey, stinky, communist asshole might be my proudest moment. I wanted to be involved with the Rally for Civility because I can’t teach my students social justice and equality while turning a blind eye when racism and misogyny are invited to town. My actions speak louder than my words.


Lastly, Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, the is executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, wrote a response about Freeborn County too. That can be found on the Rally for Civility Facebook page. If the National Institute for Civil Discourse thinks “Choose Civility” is on the right track then consider me VALIDATED!


I hope you understand how powerful your class was and how it continues to effect people’s lives.

Thanks again,

Angie Zoller Barker