WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - With tensions running high from the recent events in Charlottesville, a Wichita Falls man is trying to do something to unify his community.
"I remember in 1940 going with my mom and dad to a movie and seeing the news reel and the Germans marching and yelling the slogans," Wichita Falls Resident, Gene Newton said. "I was so frightened by it. And I asked my daddy if they were going to come hurt us."
Newton is disturbed by what he has seen and heard since the Charlottesville attack.
"I knew ideas existed that were negative to different folks in our nation," Newton said. "But I had never seen people openly shout those things."
So he's doing something about it. Last week Newton came up with a resolution for Mayor Stephen Santellana and city councilors to consider condemning Nazism, White Nationalism, and Racism in Wichita Falls.
The petitions reads:
"The citizens of Wichita Falls, Texas are endowed with rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution. The ideas of Nazism, White Nationalism, and Racism run counter to those rights and are not welcome in Wichita Falls, Texas."
District Five Councilor, Romeo Montez III said he fought to get rid of those issues and would gladly support the petition if it becomes a resolution.
Newton understands that some won't support the petition because they don't want to bring attention to a problem that might not be in Wichita Falls. But he has a message for them that was coined in 1946 by Lutheran Pastor, Martin Niemoller.
"They came after the socialist, and I did not speak up because I was not a socialist," Newton quoted. "They came for the trade unionist, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. And then they came for me, and there was nobody left to speak up. So I think we have to speak up."
Mayor Santellana said he just learned about this petition Friday and is open to learning more. He added that he loves everybody in the community.
Newton said he has always taken the rights he has for granted and never felt there could be a threat to that. But now he does.