Concerned Parents Look to ‘Take Back’ Lincoln ParkJune 29, 2015, 4:01 PM HST (Updated June 29, 2015, 11:16 PM)
A bright, summer day is usually meant to be an inviting scene for kids and their parents or friends to spend time outside and enjoy the outdoors.
Some adults, however, don’t see the same thing at Hilo’s Lincoln Park. They blame what they call “graphic and violent images” for keeping kids and families away from the park.
As many as 20 people at a time gathered in front of Lincoln Park Monday to draw attention away from the questionable signs and raise hope in restoring a playful environment.
“We just wanted to gather together today and just put up signs of aloha, because in the last five years, we’ve had a lot of negative signs,” said Karen Nishimoto, co-organizer of the Take Back Lincoln Park movement.
Frustrations reached a new level in the last few weeks when Nishimoto and others say “obscene photos” were posted outside of the park, depicting an aborted baby. “We’re just pretty much over it. We want our keikis to come back to the park without having to be subjected to graphic images. It’s a park,” Nishimoto stated.
James Borden doesn’t see it that way. His signs depicting his views and beliefs are plainly seen on the back of a truck parked right outside of Lincoln Park in a parallel parking space. He described the reactions he received Monday as mixed.
“Today, about 55-50, very close, but I think a slight majority supported us,” Borden said.
Borden says that his signs are religious in nature, and when asked how he would respond to those that disagree with the messages that he puts out, he calls on his detractors to seek out that religion.
“They need to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and get back into the Word of God through the Bible,” Borden said in response to those who oppose his actions. “That’s why they don’t understand what I’m doing, because they’re not of God, and point blankly, they are agents of Satan.”
There were several supporters of Borden’s messages with him at the park on Monday, including George Krail.
“My wife was here earlier, and her and I were healed of the two abortions we had,” Krail said. “We were for abortion, we came to Christ, and somebody like Jim (Borden), showing us the picture of the baby, we were like my gosh, that’s what we did. That’s the reality of what we did, and that’s what turned us around.”
“This isn’t really a Christian issue. It’s a human being. It’s a fellow human being being murdered,” Krail continued.
Those in the “Take Back” movement planned to show up at the park and stage a legal demonstration against these signs by taking up all of the parking spots at 7:30 a.m. Borden and his vehicle arrived 45 minutes earlier, however.
“We had all made several reports to the Parks and Recreation Department and the Police Department and whomever we could think of,” said Heather Kimball, co-organizer of the “Take Back Lincoln Park” movement. “Everything he’s doing is within his legal rights to do, and so we’re just trying to come up with a solution to just not having ourselves and our children assaulted with some of these images on a regular basis.”
Kimball and Nishimoto say that they are looking at other ways to try to get their message across. They have a Facebook page, called “Take Back Lincoln Park!” where those with similar concerns are able to share them online.