This is in response to the Nov. 11 letter from John LaForte regarding the town’s resolution to support the fact that Black Lives Matter.
Mr. LaForte’s letter is a disgraceful attempt to dismiss the lives of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, who were both killed at the hands of law enforcement. It is clearly intended to incite hateful rhetoric and a dog whistle to the racists in our community. He said the resolution was divisive; however, I think the lack of understanding of the movement or its significance is exactly why the town needed to adopt the resolution. His letter highlights the fact that our town needs to take a stand against systemic racism because he is clearly supporting the racism which is so abhorrent to the majority of us, as represented by the passing of the resolution.
He asked, “How many of you wish you had a son like George Floyd?” and “How many of you wish your daughter would hook up with a man like Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend?” The fact that he felt her boyfriend was not worthy of one of our suburban daughters by using coded language to imply he was a bad man, but he implicitly said he was a bad man because he was black. He also implied George Floyd was a bad man, thus telling readers George Floyd did not deserve to live. Both of those citizens deserved to be treated as Mr. LaForte would expect to be treated, but their lives ended in tragic and unjustifiable deaths. Saying the BLM movement “has become synonymous to burning, looting, assaulting and murder and infiltrated with terrorists” is complete propaganda and perpetuates a false narrative.
For those who do not understand the movement, it is necessary to remember that historically people of color have suffered in our nation from the time of our takeover of Native American land, to slavery, to the Civil War, to Jim Crow laws, to the Civil Rights movement that continues because of the systemic racism that still pervades. People of color have had to fight to be treated as equals, and people like Mr. LaForte would prefer to consider them “less than.” This is both despicable and ignorant and I find it shameful that anyone would write a letter that is so completely hate-filled and racist.
Black Lives Matter is important because people are born with their skin color. Police and law enforcement CHOOSE their career and it does not completely color their identity. A white, off-duty police officer at a bar will not be treated any differently because he is police; in the same bar, a man or woman of color likely to be treated differently because of their skin color.
I would hope I am living in a community that would find his letter offensive and I am grateful that my town passed this resolution.