Letter: Barrington has a problem

Posted 8/14/20

To the editor:

All around Barrington there are signs expressing positive messages that many of us appreciate. Some of them say “Hate has no Home here.” Unfortunately, many recent …

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Letter: Barrington has a problem

Posted

All around Barrington there are signs expressing positive messages that many of us appreciate. Some of them say “Hate has no Home here.” Unfortunately, many recent events, some yet to be investigated, have shown that hate does have a home here. An incident last week became at least the third act of bigotry and hatred in Barrington since May.

We can no longer cling to the illusion that Barrington doesn’t have a problem. It’s time to build a welcoming and inclusive community and to ensure that hate feels unwelcome in our town.

Like many of you, we learned of the most recent hateful episode via Facebook where videos of a Barrington family being victimized by a neighbor were shared. The details of this incident and current legal ramifications are described in a ​press release​ issued by Barrington’s Chief of Police. The story was also reported by ​Channel 10​.

As stated in the press release, a pending investigation will determine if the alleged perpetrator will be charged with a hate crime in addition to other charges. However, regardless of the formal designation, we condemn the racist language used in the video by the alleged perpetrator of violence. The racist slurs and derogatory language are compounded by a very serious offense. In the video, the white individual threatens to lie to the police about his role as perpetrator, and eventually did misrepresent the incident and claim to have been the victim of the person of color. This episode exposes an ugly facet of white privilege; power is derived from believing one has the impunity to act on bigotry and express hate. As in the cases of George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery, had the video not been shared, would justice have been served?

This statement is made now because regardless of any further outcomes of the investigation, or any other issues we have as a community, using hate-filled language and racist slurs is unacceptable. No resident of Barrington, nor anybody anywhere, should be subjected to threatening attacks, bullying or harassment, and certainly not to violence, because of their race or any other identifying trait.

As a community, we must engage. Peaceful protests have begun in town. This spring we began to address the creation of policy issues surrounding diversity in Barrington in our ​town council meetings.​ Public engagement can shape the future of Barrington. The next council meeting is Sept. 14, and will be held via Zoom. The public is welcome to participate.

Our reaction as a community must include holding our government accountable for administering equity and justice and as such, we must allow our legal system to mete out justice; with our advocacy.

Barrington belongs to all of us. Let’s engage.

Hate either has a home here, or it doesn’t.

Co-Authors

Jacob N. S. Brier

Barrington

Lisa Lowenstein

Barrington

Co-Signers:

Tricia Adams, Ann Adler, Peter Alarie, Kelly Andreoni, Robin Alssid, Marc Ardizzone, Pam Ardizzone, Diane Barense, Alyson Beatty, Elaine Beebe, Eileen Brady, Candace Breen, Amy Breslin, Dani Sahner Brier, Anita Bruno, Jamie ​Burke, Kelly Burke, Ralph A. Caruso, Jr., Sally K Caruso, Jenny Castel, Anna Clancy, Matt Collyer, Susan Catherine Collyer, Annelise Sorensen Conway, Ian MacDonald Conway, Samantha Corriea, Kira Cortese, Michael Cox, Tom Dalglish, Elizabeth Deschenes, Stephanie Drury, Miriam Duvel, Dara Elqadi, Erica Faulkner, Wendy​ Forman, David Freij, Mohamed J Freij, Reem Freij, Waffa Freij, Jessica L Garcia, Wayne Goodlin, Jacqueline Glum, Merle “Magi” Green, The Rev. Patrick J. Greene, Erin Hanna, Sue Holmes, Tinsley Kampmier-Williamson, O’rya Hyde-Keller, Nicole Jellinek, Heather Johnson, Sara Jordenö, Cliff Karten, Vicki Norris-Karten, Katy Killilea, Joe Killilea, Carrie Lardner, Grace Lardner, Amy Lash-Boyes, Chelsea Levesque, Jason Levesque, Ann Lombardi, RoseMary Lowenstein, Sarah Mackley, Susan Maloney, Kristen Masse, Maura McCrann, Patrick McCrann, Peggy Mello, Ramona Mello, Victoria L. Messier, Kelvin Misiurski, Pauline Mitchell, Anson Mole, Grace Mole, Julia Mole, Nancy Morrissette, Jodi Helman Multer, Kevin Multer, Laura H Murph​y, Catherine Nellis, Lisa Niebels, Sarah O’Brien, Clare O'Neill, Car​oline Orchard, Tracey Orchard, Will Orchard, Eduardo Paguaga, David Perolman, Ron Pitt, Rac​hael Plunkett, Katherine Quinn, Meghan Raffa, Margaret Reid, Hannah Resseger, Sally Rodriguez, Cynthia Ros​engard, Khushal Safi, Sarah Santaniello, Erika Sevetson, Katrin Schnippering, Hans Scholl, Carol Schraeder, Lisa Scorpio, Mariana Silva-Buck, Louise Sloan, Jeffrey Snyder, Megan Snyder, Katie Almeida Spencer, Elizabeth B. Splaine, Kevin Splaine, Jami Starr, Mark Stephens, Suzette Stephens, Tom Tanous, Beth Tanous, Ellen Taylor, Ben Terry, Sierra Terry, Elizabeth Torres, LeAnne S. Treanor, Elizabeth Truscott, Courtney Tutalo, Joel Uritescu, Elaine Van Leer, Jack Van Leer, Angela Valentine, Stephen Venuti, Lisa Viall, Kamryn Voutes, Lisa Voutes, Maria Elena Wah-Fitta, Sara E. Watson, Alec Waugh, Vincent G. Wicker, Andrew Winner, Ryn Winner, Diane Zawistowski, Naomi Zeltzer, Janet Zwolinski, Siobahn Carroll, and Kaitlin Sassone Palmieri

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