To the Editor:
I am a newcomer to the Easton community, but not to the area. I grew up nearby and have experienced firsthand both the benefits of living in Fairfield County and the drawbacks. One significant drawback is the extent to which the homogeneous nature of the community I grew up in left me ill-equipped to understand and recognize systemic racism and how it impacts the experiences of BIPOC in this country.
2020 was a weird year to move. In many ways, the requirements of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic meant deferring what might have otherwise been opportunities to meet neighbors, make friends, and get to know the people of the town. I have been eagerly anticipating the positive impact of vaccines and the eventual end of the pandemic to embrace opportunities to feel more truly embedded in this place. I hope it will feel someday truly feel like a home where I can have a sense of authentic belonging.
I will be voting an enthusiastic “Yes” on the Easton Resolution on Racism and Public Health, and it is my sincere hope that enough of Easton’s constituents join me for it to pass.
I have heard the arguments that voting to declare racism as a public health crisis would brand Easton as “racist,” which to my mind could not be further from the truth. In fact, doing so would be an act of bravery in acknowledging there are ways we can all do better to create a safe, welcoming and healthy environment for ALL Easton residents, and that we have the drive and will commit important resources toward doing so.
My husband and I moved to Easton with the intention of starting our family here – a milestone that’s actually now only weeks away. We moved back to the area for work, but we chose Easton specifically because we fell in love with the town’s unique charms and rural feel. We’ve gleefully bought “Easton is CT’s VT” magnets, celebrated Easton’s designation as Connecticut’s Christmas Tree capital, scrambled countless local eggs, and guzzled more of Shaggy Coos’ delicious chocolate milk than is likely advisable.
However, as I sit here with my soon-to-be son kicking my belly, I can’t help but wonder: Is this going to be a place where he will he be given better tools than I was given to navigate the world with an open mind and clear understanding of the experiences of people not like him? My hope is yes, and to that end, please join me on Tuesday in voting Yes on this resolution.