To the people of Buena Park,
“Thugs. Undesirables. Juveniles. Enough of those people. All just a bunch of criminals. They have ruined our once nice community. Blackface is fine entertainment. We do not need their culture. If we build that, it will just attract people we do not want here. They have no respect.”
These are some of the hateful characterizations that I have heard uttered by colleagues throughout my ten years in elected and appointed offices.
Systemic racism is real, and we each carry a duty to address this oppression. We must stand together as a community. We must show solidarity for Black lives.
At this moment, our nation is watching and listening. Yet another brutal murder of an unarmed Black man – George Floyd. We cannot be idle. We cannot be silent. We show compassion for the pain that our Black brothers and sisters feel. We try to understand the experience of being Black in America. We recognize that Black Lives Matter.
Together, we all share a role in mentoring our next generation, progressing mindsets for all generations now, and removing relic leadership bound by ideals that do not reflect who we are.
I pledge to call out racism in the moment it happens. I pledge to donate to legal defense funds that support the Black community. I pledge to use my elected office to change policies and practices that will support Black neighbors. I pledge to recruit Black leaders as candidates for elected and appointed offices. I pledge to continue listening and taking action.
Buena Park is growing, and I am proud of the people who are standing up to injustice. When we are silent, we are complicit. Now is your time to make your pledges, to listen – and to take action. We are all in this together.
This article was released by Connor Traut for Buena Park City Council.