Mount Vernon, Washington
360-336-8955
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An open letter to the Lincoln Theatre membership and the community

Mount Vernon Mayor Bud Norris pledges significant donation to Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation

Community controversy over the related event necessitates explanation from the organization’s leadership:

During the end of August, Mayor Bud Norris of Mount Vernon came to the Lincoln Theatre and asked to see Sandy Dixon, board president and Interim Director of the Theatre at that time.  Mayor Norris asked Ms. Dixon if she would be willing to accept a donation on behalf of the Theatre from monies to be realized from a program at McIntyre Hall featuring Glenn Beck. Ms. Dixon told the Mayor that the theatre has no history of discriminating among contributors and that yes, it would accept a donation. 
The Theatre Board is aware that Mr. Beck's views are controversial, and that many members of the community find them offensive.  However, as a nonprofit organization for the benefit of the public, the Lincoln Theatre receives a variety of support from individuals and organizations on all sides of every issue.  Accepting a contribution from any legal source is never an indication that the Lincoln’s Board of Directors, Staff or Volunteers share the personal views of the donor.

For further information, please contact Thomas Mayes, Executive Director, or Sandy Dixon, President of the Board, at (360) 419-7129, or exec.dir@lincolntheatre.org.

The Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that operates the historic Lincoln Theatre in downtown Mount Vernon, Washington.  The Theatre, built in 1926, presents over 375 public events per year.  The mission of the organization is “to entertain, inform and inspire our diverse community through Cinema, Live Performance and Educational Programs while preserving the historic Lincoln Theatre.”
 
Thomas Mayes, Executive Director
Sandy Dixon, President of the Board
Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation
 

Comments

I am disappointed by the Lincoln's decision to accept the donation of cash from Mr.Norris's crude idea of good citizenship, Mr.Beck's public, verbal attacks on communities of color. For such hatred, Mr. Norris is willing to give to Mr. Beck the key to our city. And the Lincoln accepts the money from the verbal assault of such a person. Your reasoning is that this event is a legitimate event therefore you will accept the donation. You state that you do not support the viewpoints of Mr. Beck, yet where are your standards of decency? Mr. Beck has stated that the bodies of "illegal" Mexicans on U.S. soil should be used to create fuel for the United States. Do you understand that many of these bodies to which Mr.Beck refers are bodies of children and their mothers and fathers. And you are willing to use the money that comes from this type of hatred to fund the Lincoln? What if Mr. Beck had said let's use the dead bodies of the all the children and parents in Mount Vernon to fuel our cars. At hearing these words, would your heart not break? Would you wonder at the level of hatred that is in Mr.Beck's heart. And worse yet, Mr. Beck says that his statement was just a joke. Is it a joke to do such as he recommends to the bodies of children and their parents? By you taking such a cash donation, the Lincoln also joins Mr.Beck in laughter at his cruel, violence-agitating "joke." What you are joyfully accepting in the form of cash from Mr. Beck is a celebration on the death of Mexican people, of people of color.

As for Mr.Norris, he is attempting to hide his own personally held beliefs of hatred for people of color by choosing and facilitating the articulation of such by Mr. Beck on our home ground. I do not know which is worse, Mr.Norris' cowardice at not standing on his own two feet and using his own voice to articulate his disrespect and obvious lack of value for the existence of people of color in Mt.Vernon and in the U.S., or his complete arrogance at thinking that he is a god unto himself and us, and therefore he can humble and make unclean the decades long good work by many to unite us all as a community.

The Lincoln's taking and using of the cash that falls out with the words of hatred by Mr. Beck makes the Lincoln part of this cruel action taken by the Mount Vernon mayor. While you have attempted to distance the Lincoln from Mr.Beck, you have in fact put yourself up close and personal to Mr. Beck.

As for the Lincoln, a place I have enjoyed and respected much, I am saddened by how much civility, community, and decency you are willing to give up for the sake of a few bucks.

Jovita Angelica Guillen Hernandez