Letter: Town's statement needs to be changed

Posted 8/15/20

To the editor:

I am writing in reference to the statement that you and Michael Carroll released yesterday (Aug. 7) about the racially motivated attack on a resident of Barrington last …

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Letter: Town's statement needs to be changed

Posted

I am writing in reference to the statement that you and Michael Carroll released yesterday (Aug. 7) about the racially motivated attack on a resident of Barrington last week.

Over the past few months racism and how it has been handled has come front and center in the national debate. Many Barrington citizens showed support of the BLM movement in a socially distanced gathering in early June.

The recent attack has made the people of Barrington aware that hate has a home in our town. What, for the majority, has been simply theoretical has become a reality. It can no longer be ignored or minimized. However, our neighbors who are black and people of color have had to painfully deal with racism every day of their lives, including in Barrington.

As a community we need to face that racism, however expressed, can not be disregarded or underestimated. With this in mind I urge you to amend the statement made on Aug. 7. A hate crime was committed. RIGL (R.I. General Law) defines a hate crime as "any crime motivated by bigotry or bias, including, but not limited to, threatened, attempted, or completed act(s) that appear after investigation, to have been motivated by racial, religious, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, or disability prejudice."

I urge you to reconsider your statement. This is a painful time for our community, but it pales into insignificance for the family directly involved. You can genuinely give support by removing the term “racial overtones” and replacing it with hate crime. A hate crime was committed, and this needs to be recognized by us all.

Sincerely,

Sue Holmes

Barrington

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