Letter to the editor: Community needs to step up to stamp out hate and racism | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Community needs to step up to stamp out hate and racism

Garnett Payne isn’t the first person in our community to publicly express her ignorant and racist views, but we, as a Summit County residents, need to step up. I am tired of seeing the anger against Black Lives Matter and the ongoing protests continue to manifest out of fear and ignorance about the leadership and the purpose of the movement. This is Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. This is Harriet Tubman, the heroes of the past. They’d be leading this movement today with all the passion of Tamika Mallory and Alicia Garza. 

Each of us must decide if we are working on the side of equality and justice for everyone who lives here, and if so, then we must be willing to actively learn and unlearn, perhaps for the first time, what our nation’s history is and why it is unjust. Otherwise, we are choosing the side that upholds 400 years of white supremacy. The history isn’t hard to find, but you just have to be willing to listen and learn more than what you were taught. 

I stand proudly and vocally and publicly with Black Lives Matter, knowing that it isn’t a threat to our community or our country; it’s a call to action. “Stop killing us. Stop erasing us. Start protecting us. Start seeing us as equal.” 

Our community needs to step up. We must stamp out hate and racism by loudly proclaiming it does not live here. We do not allow it oxygen. Public officials, business owners, nonprofit leaders, board members: I’m talking to you specifically. You call yourself community leaders? Lead. Where are you? The hate is on the laps of the racists, not Black Lives Matter, not protesters. They’re just fighting for their right to exist in your racist world.

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