WESTMINSTER WEST — As a current resident of Westminster and a part of the Putney community for 30 years, I want to thank community members and the Putney Selectboard for the decision to paint a Black Lives Matter sign on the road in front of Putney Central School.
The “BLM is racist” painted on Route 5 in Putney in July was a gut punch. Black Lives Matter was created by three Black women following the murder of an innocent Black teenager whose white killer walks free.
BLM arose out of the desperation, anguish, and anger of Black Americans, who repeatedly and disproportionately experience death and brutality at the hands of police, who are stopped, arrested, and sentenced at much higher rates than white people, whose health outcomes and life expectancy severely lag behind those of whites. It's a call to all of us to face the racism embedded in our society and ourselves and to work to change it.
I do not want to stand by at this critical time in our town and nation. Please, let's honestly confront our nation's racist history and present and take concrete steps to show that all Black lives matter.
Painting this affirming mural is a first step. Seeing it every day will give me and others the inspiration and strength to advocate for a more-just nation. I need that reminder every day to keep up the work of outing the racism that's inherent in me, as a white person in a system that purports to uphold justice for all but fails to deliver it.