Self-Reflection Needed to Fight Hate

Letters to the Editor

Originally Published December 5, 2019 in the Arlington Advocate

The hate that we are seeing around the country and the violence that follows is deeply disturbing. It is also disturbing to see that there are people in Arlington who think that Lt. Pedrini’s hate-filled words were a joke or tongue in cheek and rush to defend him. It might be hard to confront a friend or family member when they step out of line morally, but to avoid doing so is enabling them and depriving them of an opportunity to face the consequences of their actions and to grow. I don’t know of any religion that says that hate is OK, I don’t know of any code of conduct that says hate is OK. And yet when showing support to someone who spread hate and tearing down the very people who worked tirelessly to address it is what allows hate to continue, and gives the message that it is OK. It is not OK. Arlington Fights Racism is working to unite our town by addressing the harm done to our marginalized communities. Hate and indifference are dividing our town. How differently this might have turned out if the people who care about Rick Pedrini had helped him to see how his words hurt members of our community and offered him support to make it right. Perhaps there are people in town who share the same attitudes expressed by Pedrini. This is racism and is harmful to everyone, and surprisingly even to the person who harbors hateful thoughts. Racism and bias only keeps us separated from each other. We live in a racist country with a racist history so none of us avoids having some version of it. For white people to recover from our racism, we need to deeply examine the biases we hold and the values we hold and see if they are in line with each other. If we don’t do this self-reflective work, we are living in the dark and miss the opportunity to connect with the cross section of people who make up our community. The reality is that we have a rich and diverse country with people from all walks of life and all corners of the earth. We are a country of immigrants and the potential to break down barriers and learn about each other is endless. Arlington Fights Racism is encouraging people to talk with each other and seeking ways to make Arlington safe for all of its residents. Please join us if you would like to be part of this journey.

Lynette Culverhouse
Draper Avenue