Letter: Everyone must speak up against racism in Berkshires

Everyone must speak up against racism in county

To the editor:

Something has happened in the Southern Berkshire community that is unacceptable and terrifying. A young African-American man's life was threatened in the most historically egregious way possible.

The language that was initially used by some local news outlets was marginalizing to the victim and the seriousness of the crime, and the response by the community in general is "The Berkshires are so great, so liberal, let's not be dramatic or jump to conclusions," which is insulting and harmful to the African-American community and the community at large.

The person who perpetrated this hateful act was not punished until the end of the last week of September (the threat occurred that Monday), meaning the victim had to go to school feeling unsafe and unprotected.

Make no mistake, right here in the "best small town in America," there is an undercurrent of racism that is insidious and largely ignored by the white, liberal community of which I am a part. We must do better than this.

There is much that can be done in the Berkshires to fight racism and other forms of bigotry. If you don't know how to do it in this community, ask someone who might.

At a time when the country is exploding with violence against young black men, we all have a responsibility to speak up against this and to try to protect the victims of such crimes. Hateful speech and actions erode the foundation of our entire society. This needs to be taken seriously, because it is in fact, deadly serious. All children, young people, and members of the community have the right to feel safe and taken care of.

Emma Dweck, Great Barrington


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