Human rights activists are divided over whether to stage a counterdemonstration to an April skinhead convention, and a cross-burning victim is arguing for a protest against racists.
"You can't sit down and do nothing," said Spencer Hamm, who had an 8-foot cross burned at his Spokane County, Wash., home last August. "That's what I was doing when the cross was burned in my yard."Hamm said Jesse Jackson was wrong last week to urge his supporters to pull out of a demonstration against the skinheads, who plan a convention and possible parade sponsored by northern Idaho's Aryan Nations Church.
Jackson said a counterdemonstration would only provide the publicity white supremacists want.
But Hamm said he has contacted the national office of the Rainbow Coalition, Jackson's political action group, in an attempt to change Jackson's mind.
Although disabled, Hamm said he intends to march against the skinheads. "I'll go as far as I can."
He said the skinheads will draw media attention regardless of whether citizens protest against them.
No one has been arrested in the cross-burning at the home of Hamm, who is black and lives with his white girlfriend.