This is in regards to the guest column by Jennifer Zeiter titled “Lesson in Intolerance.” Her description the events of that day is a gross mischaracterization.
I was out on the sidewalk (near her) very often during the March. I struggle with anxiety when in a crowd. It was best for me to stay more on the fringe to participate rather than in the middle. This happened to position me out on the sidewalk going back and forth, videoing the crowd, etc. This also happened to be where she was marching back and forth with her pro-Trump sign and large American flag.
When I first saw her, I was impressed with her passion. We may not have agreed on what we were passionate about, but there she was proudly walking back and forth for what she believed in. I admired her tenacity. When she would walk by people would chant “love trumps hate” to which she would reply “make America great again” on and on. This went for over two hours. Back and forth on the sidewalk she and I traversed, her with her flag, me videoing the crowd. In the article she claimed events that happened “primarily” and with “most” of the crowd. This did not occur! She furthers the “alternative facts” by stating that we marchers set a terrible example of democracy to the young people present. If you were there that day, either observing or participating, then you already know that there was an incredible beauty in the unity that everyone felt that day. Present were husbands, wives, children, senior citizens, high school and elementary students. I have lived in this town for 20 years, and I have never experienced community as I did at the women’s march. It was glorious! I found myself filled with great emotion and pride at the outpouring of love and commitment.
Do I think there may have been a few in the crowd, a comment here and there that was inappropriate? Unfortunately, I am sure there was. However, I was there, literally near her much of the protest and it simply did not occur as she is portraying.
Kimberly O’Brien-Young, Laguna Beach