Many of you are now aware of an unfortunate event which was discovered in our community this past week. A hateful message implying killing people of color (words have been change to stay respectful) was found painted on the skate ramp at NCRD. It has since been painted over.
I first want to thank many of you in the community, NCRD, and the sheriff’s office for working together to first help find the person who did this, and secondly for helping us ensure we are a safe and inclusive community for everyone who lives here.
Unfortunately a child of color in our community saw this while at the skate park with his mother and some other children. It has also helped open the dialogue for issues that children of color in our schools have been experiences, yet nothing has been done to specifically address these issues. I am not bring this up to engage on the national narrative, but to address specifically what is happening in our own community especially to our kids of color in our community.
I know I have only lived here for three years, but some concerns we seek to address have happened long before I moved here, yet they continue to happen. It’s time for us to stop dismissing “isolated” incidents and deal with a problem. Our kids need to know their community cares for them and will protect them. Will you join me in helping ensure our community takes a stance of zero tolerance of hate of any kind towards people of color, different political/religious views, sexual orientation or anything else that would seek to cause a divide among people.
If you would like to join us in not just a discussion but in action, I invite you to:
- Call the sheriff’s office and ask what progress is being made to identify the culprit of this hate crime so we can stay accountable to our children.
- Become active in the discussion in your home and community about the difference between free speech and hate speech.
- Reach out to both school districts and urge them to address this incident in the classrooms while educating students on the difference between free speech and hate speech.
- Ask our schools to provide our teachers and staff with diversity training and resources.
- Ask schools to commit to ongoing dialogue in classrooms teaching on bullying, racism, and discrimination in any form (especially when teaching US history.)
- Commit to have a zero tolerance for hate speech or action of any kind.
- Take action against hate and do not dismiss it if you are ever in its company.
As I have already seen over the weekend on Facebook, there are many who believe this is just an example of kids being kids, or simple graffiti, or just adults up in arms about nothing. I am asking everyone to consider there is now a family in our community who is now hurting because of the actions of kids being kids. There is now a mother who feels she must protect her child at all costs by not letting her child out of her sight. This is not how anyone in our community should have to feel.
If you are interested in being more involved in our the Oregon Coast Love Coalition is working to ensure a safe and inclusive community for everyone, I invite you to our next meeting on Tuesday, October 3rd at 6 pm at NCRD. We will first spend some time in a conversation regarding what our community experienced last week. We will then talk about our upcoming plans for MLK Day on January 15, 2018 as well as our summer youth camp we are excited to embark on.
Need any other information? My number is 425-243-3765 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seasoned with love,