Times change, don't they?
April 28, 2021
In the 1980s while hunting on the CMR National Wildlife Refuge I drove into Glasgow to pick up a friend who was arriving on Amtrak. On a bulletin board in the train station was a racist cartoon that caught my eye.
Having grown up in southern Indiana I’d seen that sort of thing before, but this was particularly vile, especially in a public space.
It colored how I’ve viewed Glasgow ever since, but that was more than 30 years ago, and times change, don’t they?
Apparently not so much.
Passing through there last week, I picked up one of those advertising shoppers every little town seems to have full of help-wanted ads, news releases and Ole and Lars jokes.
The bizarre picture on the front had caught my eye ‑- four young teen-age girls in prom dresses holding assault rifles. The accompanying text, written by right-wing radio host Aaron Flint, explained that the girls, all from Broadview, were in Billings to attend a prom being held there for kids from surrounding small communities.
The picture had been taken by the mother of one of the girls at the Scheels store where someone must have thought it a great idea to have them pose with high-dollar semi-automatic weapons to commemorate their big night.
“Great ladies and even greater Americans!” Flint wrote.
The weapons, with the trigger locks still in place and price tags dangling, were held awkwardly by the unsmiling quintet, who wore wrist corsages.
The next day I read in the news about a teenager in Indianapolis who killed a bunch of people with an assault rifle. I wonder if he was going to a prom?
If the photo wasn’t offensive enough, inside the shopper was an editorial written by an angry old white man from the tiny town of Nashua bemoaning the cancel culture that now apparently has set its sights on anything to do with his hero John Wayne.
Then he shifted gears and wrote, “Of course there was another black killed by a cop in Minnesota on Sunday. Now there are more riots… When are the blacks going to quit with their idiot riots and let the law do what they have to?”
The Washington Post dubbed Glasgow “The Middle of Nowhere,” a few years ago for being the farthest town in the U.S. from a metropolitan area of 75,000. Glasgow has embraced that moniker, even painting it on a mural downtown.
Had the Post dug a little deeper, however, they may have dubbed it something else.
Parker Heinlein is at [email protected]