New Ulm HRC George Floyd response
To the editor:
The time to address systemic racism and make positive changes is upon us. The New Ulm Human Rights Commission (HRC) stands with those who condemn the actions of the four Minneapolis police officers who were responsible for George Floyd’s murder. While we decry the violence, looting, and destruction of property, we support those peaceful protestors who seek liberty and justice for all. We were buoyed by the peaceful local protests and only hope that these continue in our midst.
While we realize that this event happened in a metropolitan area, it does not mean that we are immune from racism. How many of us have looked askance when immigrants move into our community? Do we speak in broad denigrating terms about other races? Do we watch minorities more vigilantly as they shop in our stores? We may assume we don’t have a problem here, but evidence to the contrary exists.
Instead, we can work for positive change by: talking to our friends and neighbors; talking to citizens who don’t look like you; above all, listen! When you see racism or people of color being treated unfairly, speak up. Even if you are the only one talking. Silence is not neutral and only helps the oppressor. We applaud the actions of groups who are advocating for positive change–groups like New Ulm Forward, Welcoming Communities, and Equality from New Ulm. Their work leads others by their example. The New Ulm HRC is committed to educating and raising awareness about the inequities which exist in our community, but more importantly, we are committed to working toward positive, peaceful change.
The New Ulm Human Rights Commission will be distributing signs for those who want them in New Ulm which say “If You Want Peace, Work For Justice.” It is our hope that saturating the town with this positive message will encourage the above behaviors and create an image of our city as one of acceptance.
If you would like a sign for your yard, please contact a member of the Human Rights Commission or email City Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org who will connect you with a member.
Larry Czer, Chair