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Old Lyme native saw racism firsthand

The ongoing kerfuffle in town over the two Republican Board of Selectmen members refusing to speak out on racism, and the denial by many townsfolk that racism exists at all in toney Old Lyme, is hardly a surprise. Having grown up in town, expression of racial epithets, whether in the schools, the country club, the town fire department, what have you, was quite normal.

For several years in the late 1970s, school field trips to New York City were halted due to youths yelling racial slurs out the bus windows at Black pedestrians. The resistance to “affordable housing” has nothing to do with lofty environmental thoughts, or a desire to keep taxes low. It is all about keeping Black and brown shaded people out of town and preventing their children from dating the towns white youths, in a school setting. White fear of any “others” living amongst them drives this sad state along.

By their refusal to entertain the Resolution on Racism as a Public Health Crisis, one can only conclude that First Selectman Timothy Griswold and Selectman Christopher Kerr are racist and need enlightenment. It is sad.

Jonathan Wilder

Old Lyme

 

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