This is a response to Stanley Campbell’s “The red and green axis of evil.” Mr. Campbell — “Rockford’s only paid radical,” as written in a Nov. 16, 2003, Rockford Register Star article — and I obviously have different political views.
Guest speakers and authors Phil Haney and James Simpson shared their views and knowledge Oct. 28 at a free public educational Coffee Talk about matters of national security, Islamic Supremacy and their relationship with groups such as Antifa and others. By leaving early, Mr. Campbell chose to disengage in the dialogue that ensued.
Mr. Campbell neglected to mention that local prominent Rockford leaders pressured us to not have the event. I was personally threatened, bullied and harassed while NIRW’s current president’s employer was contacted. We were called racists, Muslim haters and worse before the event was held. The Machine Shed was also pressured to not let us utilize the restaurant, but management responded by saying they remain neutral in these matters.
Approximately 60 people attended from both sides. Standing for our conservative values and freedom of speech and publicly speaking out against terrorism is not easy.
Immigrant and refugee issues are just two of the many important topics NIRW addresses in our three-fold mission to educate, empower and elect women.
I thank Mr. Campbell for his military service in Vietnam. I, too, had six close family members in the military during the Vietnam War: my husband, brother-in-law and four brothers. Two brothers were sent home from Vietnam, one in a coffin, the other on the same plane to accompany the body. A third brother, while in Germany, was told his brother was killed but didn’t know which one until he got back to the states.
The hate and discrimination I have experienced as a Hispanic/Latina began when I attended a segregated elementary school in Texas and in a Rockford high school where I was steered toward secretarial classes instead of college-bound courses. However, one can be bitter or better after negative experiences. I chose the latter.
I cannot change my skin color but I do choose Republican, conservative, Christian values and to keep our Constitution, laws and values alive and relevant. My family and I love America and the freedoms it offers.
By the way, my ancestors did not cross the Mexican border, the border crossed them. Sadly, a few days after our event, New York City bike riders were attacked by the evil in our midst. Keep praying for peace.
Gloria Cardenas Cudia is immediate past president, Northern Illinois Republican Women (NIRW).