Friday's Celebrate the City event in Downtown Mobile was billed as "Unity Through Music," and it happened just in time.
Like most Americans, we watched in horror as Charlottesville was descended upon by white supremacists -- people who live with hate in their hearts. I'm not going over the story again here, it's already dominated the news cycle. But it was pretty easy to be depressed about the state of our nation while watching the horror unfold.
By fortuitous circumstance, though, people in the City of Mobile offered something very different -- a diverse gathering of people from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds at Celebrate the City. This is a city that loves music, and music has a way of bringing people together. So while torch-wielding Nazis created chaos in Charlottesville, our city fought back with song, dancing... an uplifting party for all.
Sadly, what happened in Charlottesville could have happened anywhere. The hate groups simply chose Charlottesville as a venue, and the removal of a statue an excuse, to cause trouble. They could have just as easily decided to come here.
But in reality, they are small in number and don't represent us. And should they ever gather here, they should know that this is the city that ran federal investigators out of town during Prohibition (Mobile also likes its drink). And it's the city where 50 years ago, Spring Hill College students ran off the KKK with bats and golf clubs.
So thanks to the organizers of Celebrate the City. Sometimes timing is everything, and our city's celebration of music, diversity, and UNITY could not have come at a better moment.