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Hundreds Attend Unity Rally in Davis

DAVIS -- With candles and song, there's a moment of beauty and togetherness in Davis after five days that have focused the country on the destructiveness of divisiveness.

"It's really frightening and it's becoming more and more frightening," said Heather Nolan.

The deadly Charlottesville clash between white supremacists fighting for the preservation of confederate statues and those opposing their stance of hate motivated hundreds in Davis to take a stand against where they see the country going.

"I think if people can't learn to come out and express their feelings without hitting and punching each other or without being hateful toward each other, it's not going in a good direction," said Jessica Johnston who drove in from Woodland for the rally.

They came with different signs, but all speaking with a unified message through an event hosted by the Davis Phoenix Coalition.

One of those messages?

Challenging each other to not dwell in the easy spots of life and leave activism against racism to others.

"Live in those uncomfortable places because that's what's really gonna move us forward," said Gloria Partida with the Davis Phoenix Coalition.

Her son was severely beaten in town in 2013 because he's gay.

Davis has long been known for its tolerance, but more instances of hate like bacon thrown at a mosque and swastikas painted at a Jewish fraternity house are forcing the town to look in the mirror.

Speakers pointed out there are two different cities -- a white Davis and a minority Davis.

While she didn't feel the divide all the time, Cynthia Fair says that was something hovering just under the surface when she went to college there 20 years ago.

"It just takes a really better person to rise above all of that. I think this is the reminder," she said referencing the unity rally.

And when it comes to those pushing hate over harmony as the American way.

"Tell them no way, not in America. Mr. President, be our leader!"

That was the passionate reminder democratic Congressman John Garamendi had for President Trump who's been heavily criticized for being slow to condemn racism after Charlottesville and equating the motives of neo-Nazis and those opposing their views.

Garamendi says Trump better get this issue right...and fast.

"And if you can't, then get the hell out of that office," he shouted, to roars from the crowd gathered in Central Park.

Building on their unity rally, the Davis Phoenix Coalition intends to host a series of community conversations on reducing racism and hate starting in October.