A trilingual yard sign that began popping up in communities across the country after the U.S. presidential election has made its way to the Quad-Cities.
The signs printed here, however, read slightly different from the popular green, blue and orange ones that say, “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor,” in Spanish, English and Arabic.
The red, white and blue signs, produced by One Human Family QCA, display a similar message of acceptance, “No matter who you are or where you’re from we’re glad you’re our neighbor,” in the same three languages.
“We decided to be a little more inclusive,” said Bob Babcock, a Davenport-based activist, who is leading the anti-hate group’s campaign. “People are asking for them all over the place.”
Quad-City Press, a commercial printing company in Moline, has produced 500 of the 18- by 24-inch signs. Babcock said they have 200 up for grabs before they request another batch.
The signs are available at SiS International Shop – Fair Trade, 108 E. 2nd St., Davenport, for a suggested cash donation of $10. Donations, not sales, Babcock stressed, cover the printing costs.
“This fits directly into what my store is,” said Becke Dawson, owner of the store, which has products from about 60 developing nations. “This is what we’re all about.”
The original message, which since has been translated to several other languages by request, stems from a hand-painted sign at Immanuel Mennonite, a church in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
In response to the rhetoric of the primary debates, the Rev. Matthew Bucher unveiled the phrase on a black-and-white, hand-painted sign outside his church.
Lisa Killinger, president of the Muslim Community of the Quad-Cities in Bettendorf, said she recently picked up three of the signs designed by One Human Family QCA.
She posted one at her home near Genesis Medical Center-East Rusholme Street, Davenport, one outside her mosque off Kimberly Road in Bettendorf and delivered the third one to the Islamic Center of the Quad-Cities in Moline.
“I want people coming and going to the hospital to see something positive,” said Killinger, who also teaches at Palmer College of Chiropractic.
Both mosques in the Quad-Cities, she noted, are home to immigrants and refugees from dozens of foreign countries.
Although he did not mention any reports of vandalism, Babcock said his efforts to distribute the signs have been met with some resistance. Two credit unions and a medical provider, for example, rejected free signs.
Whether people place them on their lawns or use them as sunshields in their vehicles, Babcock wants to "blanket" the area with the signs, which he thinks set a friendly, apolitical tone.
“We want to make sure that the Q-C stays a welcoming and hospitable community,” he said. “Ideally, there will be several (signs) on every street."