Letters to the Editor
Originally Published October 3, 2019 in the Arlington Advocate
After decades of being a proud resident of Arlington, I am now ashamed to watch the way my town is responding to the obvious evidence of racism in the heart of our police department. The lack of strong compassionate leadership shown around the case of Lt. Pedrini’s racist and hate-filled writings is leaving our town’s marginalized residents at risk. We claim to be an inclusive community and yet our leaders have decided it is acceptable to put an armed officer back on the streets after he has threatened violence towards certain groups of people.
If you are white and privileged, you have nothing to fear but if you are a person of color, an immigrant, a disabled person, a progressive activist or an addict you have much to fear. Nothing has been done by the town leaders or Pedrini himself to allay the fears of people in these groups. The steps taken by the town manager to protect the job of a white uniformed racist man at the expense of tax paying citizens of the town is hard to comprehend. Greater focus has so far been placed almost solely on protecting the image of the leadership rather than sincerely and compassionately reaching out to the community with an honest desire to admit mistakes and seek solutions.
Considering our national landscape where brown children crossing the border are separated from their parents and placed in concentration camps, where police shootings are the leading cause of death for black men, and where an outspoken racist holds the highest seat of power in our country, it is critical that our town not tolerate white supremacist views in our local police department. However, there are those of us who are committed to raising awareness on this issue. We will continue to urge the town leadership to amend their approach to this case to favor justice over expediency so that all of our citizens can feel safe living in Arlington.