Flying the flag against Trump

Neighbors hoist flags, signs to speak out against 'hateful policies'

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Oak Parkers in the 600 block of Fair Oaks are sending a message to President Donald Trump that hate is not welcome in their neighborhood.

The statement has come in the form of roughly a dozen rainbow flags that line the block and yard signs saying "Hate has no home here" and "Immigrants welcome."

Sarah Sugimoto, a recent graduate of Oak Park and River Forest High School, said her mother, Sondra Summers, first came up with the idea, but Sugimoto took it a step further.

Sugimoto emailed neighbors on the block near the end of last year about the idea of putting up the flags and then ordered and distributed them to those interested on the block.

The flags had been in place for a few weeks when Sugimoto attended an immigrant rights rally in Scoville Park in early February that drew hundreds of supporters of Oak Park's then-proposed sanctuary city ordinance. She said that demonstration inspired her to collect the yard signs to add to the rainbow flags.

"They say 'Hate has no home here' because of the travel ban Trump put in place for the seven majority Muslim countries," Sugimoto said.

"This woman [at the rally] had these signs in a box, so I took a couple," Sugimoto said. "I sent a mass email to the block to see if people wanted to put them in the window."

Sugimoto ultimately had to go to Kinko's to get more signs made because of the response, she said.

She said the political statement has been noticed by neighbors on adjacent blocks, who also have requested signs and flags to put up in solidarity.

Neighbors Hans and Barbara Lagoni, who live next door to Sugimoto, said they were so inspired by the flags that they decided to make their own sign that simply reads "Immigrants welcome."

"We moved into this community in 1971, and it's always been a community about inclusion and welcoming and about diversity, and that's what we love about it," Barbara Lagoni said.

She said she's proud of what's happening on the block and wanted to stand for what's right.

"Given the current political climate, we are deeply concerned about the direction that Donald Trump is taking the country and taking the government," she said, adding that she's specifically concerned about appointments to Trump's cabinet and his positions concerning the environment, education, international relations – "you name it," she added. 

"I think it's important that as a community we stand up to that; we can't be complacent," she said.

Barbara Lagoni noted that she comes from a family of journalists and has been particularly concerned with Trump's attacks on the media. The president has regularly referred to major media outlets as producers of "fake news" and most recently wrote on Twitter that several news organizations – CNN, The New York Times, NBC, ABC and CBS – are "the enemy of the American people."

"The attack on the media concerns me and the comparisons being made to pre-Nazi Germany concerns me," Barbara Lagoni said. "This has gone beyond partisan. It's not Democrat versus Republican anymore, it's really about our democratic society." 


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Reader Comments

17 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Ray Simpson  

Posted: February 26th, 2017 6:42 PM

@ Barbara-Joan - "Civil" is the root of civility so I get your point

Barbara Joan  

Posted: February 26th, 2017 6:18 PM

Ray-The new breed of so celled "progressives" are now properly addressed as "oppressives' by political analysts who truly understand politics. This new breed of "liberals" are unwittingly supporting global Marxism and Sharia law that does not recognize anyone as having any civil rights.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: February 26th, 2017 4:37 PM

@ Barbara Joan - Progressives in Oak Park are tolerant of anyone who agrees with them. The residents of 600 block of Fair Oaks might get a response from President Trump along the lines of President Obama "Elections have consequences" and a stronger message might be to work harder in 2018 and get a meaningful message that includes being FOR something as opposed to being against everything.

Barbara Joan  

Posted: February 26th, 2017 3:03 PM

Ray-AGREE! Intolerance towards those who have different views is a form of censorship that infringes on other people's civil rights such as free speech and that is what fascism is.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: February 26th, 2017 12:01 PM

Demonstrate your hatred for perceived hatred! Progressive claptrap!

Natalie Stein  

Posted: February 23rd, 2017 12:22 PM

As of 2015, more than 2.5 million undocumented people had been deported by immigration authorities since President Obama took office in 2009, a total which is record-setting. During the two terms of his predecessor, President George W. Bush, just over 2 million people were deported. Where were the protests ? Obama and Carter had similar travel bans. Where were the protests ? Seems hypocritical !

Barbara Joan  

Posted: February 23rd, 2017 9:24 AM

I love the rainbow flag! it would be beautiful to see the American flag flown too.God bless the USA,! yes, we all need to protect and preserve the U.S constitution that protects all our civil rights.

James Hall  

Posted: February 23rd, 2017 9:06 AM

Bill Dwyer is the most creative and original internet troll for using the word "Drumpf" in everything he writes. Great job Billy. Very insightful.

Patty Reilly-Murphy from Oak Park  

Posted: February 23rd, 2017 9:03 AM

What a beautiful way to express one's support for inclusion/equality. I'd love to see this spread throughout the village!

Ray Simpson  

Posted: February 22nd, 2017 7:24 PM

Lets all exhibit our genuine hatred for the hatred we imagine is in President Trumps heart. A village of hypocrites!

Jannis Martinez from Oak Park  

Posted: February 22nd, 2017 3:59 PM

I have the pleasure of knowing Sarah personally. She is so kind and responsible and she gives me hope for the future. Kudos to her parents?

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: February 22nd, 2017 3:37 PM

I think the gay community would take issue with Drumpf being worthy of a rainbow flag, Ms. Russell, given that the NY Times is reporting that he's had a draft order written up that "would reverse directives put in place last year by the Obama administration to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice."

Deb Brown  

Posted: February 22nd, 2017 9:53 AM

Go, Sarah! I love walking down your block. OP has always stood for inclusiveness. Let everyone know.

Mike Hanline  

Posted: February 22nd, 2017 8:30 AM

"...and as to the press a sign of a Socialist/Marxist, Fascist state is control of the media which the Democrats had under their thumb." To the contrary, it's Trump's attempts to discredit and demonize the media that are a page right out of the authoritarian playbook (at least so far, he hasn't resorted to assassinating critical journalists like his good buddy, Putin). Facts are real. Truth is real. Whether they align with your world view is irrelevant.

Natalie Stein  

Posted: February 21st, 2017 5:42 PM

Ms. Lagoni needs to read up on history. These referrals to pre-Nazi Germany are scare tactics and as to the press a sign of a Socialist/Marxist, Fascist state is control of the media which the Democrats had under their thumb. I have heard speeches by Trump and then read or heard media accounts and the spin was unbelievable. If, she has fears concerning a democratic society so do those who voted for Trump. The Democrats promised people the world, abortion, LGBT rights to marriage and all the benefits of it and much more, They took God out of people's lives as to mention his name was a no no. People have been bullied by the left into what they can say and think. Clinton was to be the torch bearer, the one to seal the deal for a Socialist America. All these sign and flags are insulting. You are saying people who are against ILLEGAL immigrants are haters. What part of ILLEGAL do you not understand. If, you do not approve of LGBT marriage or whatever that doesn't make you a hater because your religious or moral beliefs are such that you cannot condone the relationship. Unless you agree with their left wing agenda you are labelled a hater. The hate on the left is off the charts. These people have shown their true colors.

Mike Hanline  

Posted: February 21st, 2017 4:47 PM

He doesn't, unless he's flip-flopped yet again:

Jenna Brown Russell  

Posted: February 21st, 2017 2:31 PM

A rainbow flag is fitting for the first President elected who openly supported gay marriage.

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