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Letter to the Editor: MAPC pledge an important step

by | Feb 2, 2021 | Letter to Editor

I wholeheartedly agree with Richard Germaine’s support for the town adopting the MAPC pledge, as expressed in his January 13th Letter to the Editor. It was the correct affirmation that since racism exists everywhere, our society requires more introspection, education and action to make positive changes for our future here in town and across the country.

Actions such as [Police Chief Joseph] Bennett’s engagement of a social worker/clinician to help de-escalate situations has already proven fruitful.

In personal terms, the MAPC pledge is a statement that expands the overly simplistic and too-often stated “I am not a racist” to be a more focused and action-oriented “I am anti-racist” statement — a distinct difference!

For years, haven’t we all lived with the “I am not a racist” mantra? But can we truly say we have been ANTI-racist? Have we been outspoken standing up against racism (and sexism, ageism, etc.) when we see it? Have we faced our own prejudices and fears, which exist in all of us to some degree, to learn from them and see how they impact our own experiences? Do we understand the imbalance of white privilege and systemic racism, and its impact? (Web search “redlining” for a basic example of systemic racism.)

The visual death of George Floyd and an unfortunately steady stream of BIPOC (Black, indigenous, and people of color) deaths and inequities have put racism front and center in this country. We must face these challenges head-on, with awareness, conversation, tolerance and acceptance of others and more.

Ask yourself, what MORE can I do? Start with concrete steps for yourself! Watch the “The First Time I Realized I Was Black” videos, and the John Lewis “Good Trouble” documentary. Join a local social justice group or book club. Opportunities abound!

The country needs white people to recognize the history of unfair systemic racism and their personal and business roles in bringing about equity in education, employment, health care and so many other aspects of living — and to act, providing opportunities and denouncing inequities, whether in a public arena or private conversations. Equal opportunity for all is what this country, state and little town are all about — a collective goal for which we can, and must, strive together.

— Brad Fenn, Hopkinton

Editor’s note: The opinions and comments expressed in letters to the editor are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the Independent. Submissions should be no more than 400 words and must include the writer’s name and contact information for verification. Letters should be relevant and not primarily for the purpose of promoting an organization or event. Letters may be edited by the Independent staff for space, errors or clarification, and the Independent offers no guarantee that every letter will be published. For a schedule of deadlines for letters and other submissions for the print edition, click here.

3 Comments

  1. Robin Brooke Meldon

    Bravo Brad Fenn!!

  2. Sue Bowman

    Well expressed!

  3. Ken Lark

    Reframing the current race problem in our Country is perhaps the BEST idea that I’ve heard in a long time to address continuing racism. Mr. Fenn expresses the solution concisely. “I’m not a racist” is a cop out but “I’m anti-racist” is an opt in plan that can work! Signed, an anti-racist living in the South