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City of Ypsilanti Denounces Racism, Hatred and Fear Tactics
Ypsilanti, MI, August 16, 2017:
The events reported from Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, August 12, 2017 have saddened, sickened, and angered political leaders in the City of Ypsilanti. At least one person was killed and 34 injured during demonstrations and protests. The demonstrations were led by white nationalists seeking to spread hate through fear tactics and drawing in groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis. Counter protesters attending the demonstrations were attacked in one of the worst fights to date over the removal of confederate monuments throughout the South that led to a state of emergency being declared by the governor of Virginia.
These actions led the Ypsilanti City Council to pass a resolution at their August 15th City Council meeting condemning racism, hatred and fear tactics.
Councilwoman Lois Richardson stated, “The events in Virginia on August 12th were sickening. The act of domestic terrorism brought on by the actions of the extreme racist groups, Alt-Right, Neo Nazis, KKK, and White Nationalists is to be called exactly what it is, ‘Racism’ in its ugliest form. This hateful demonstration caused the needless loss of lives and injury to many others. This is 2017, let’s not go back to the 1950’s and beyond.”
Ypsilanti leaders have been working for many years denouncing fear mongering and hate and want their community to know that these are unacceptable practices. The City of Ypsilanti has strong roots and is proud of its history and its practices to keep Ypsilanti a racially and culturally diverse and welcoming community. Hate crimes, racial injustice, and social inequality are the reason the City of Ypsilanti passed one of the first Non-Discrimination Ordinances in Michigan.
Mayor Amanda Edmonds said, “Hate is oppression and is unacceptable on every level. As a community we have to support each other and not spread hate and divisiveness. I am extremely proud of my community for knowing that we can peacefully gather to express our opinions and we create safe spaces to talk through issues and work to make our community open and welcoming to everyone.”
Councilwoman Beth Bashert shared news of a possible hate crime in Jackson, Michigan, in which a house fire that killed two dogs and three cats and destroyed the home of the Director of the Jackson Pride Center. Councilwoman Bashert said, “Hate has no home here, I am sickened over the events of the weekend and the expressions of hatred being shown in our country and in front of our children.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Nicole Brown, also expressed anger over the weekend events and sorrow for the family of the victims and for the aggrieved groups saying, “We mourn for the life that was lost, and we will honor all those under attack by congregating against hate in our own communities.”
The City of Ypsilanti stands united during these challenging times. Councilwoman Bashert’s comment was echoed by all of City Council, “…Our solidarity will not be shattered by hatred and disunity. We will continue to work protecting ALL our residents from forces of hate and discrimination.”
The Ypsilanti Human Relations Commission meets monthly to work toward providing a safe community and protecting the rights of all residents. The next meeting is August 28, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council room at City Hall (1 South Huron). All are invited to come speak, share concern, propose ideas, and listen.
About The City of Ypsilanti
The City of Ypsilanti has 20,000 residents, spans 4.5 square miles, and is known for its rich history, Huron River parks, and as the home of Eastern Michigan University. The City’s mission is to work creatively and collaboratively to enhance the natural and built environment so that its population grows and thrives. To keep up with City of Ypsilanti information, subscribe for email updates, and follow us on Twitter or on Facebook.