This is a letter for those individuals triggered into unlawful rage by Black Lives Matter (BLM) signs. Over the past months we have seen how furious you become when we speak up peacefully to condemn the ongoing government sanctioned violence against Black people. You have trespassed into our yards, stolen our personal property, and recently defaced someone’s car and garage with racist graffiti. Make no mistake, scrawling WLM on someone’s garage and car because they have a BLM sign in their yard is a racist act. Stealing someone’s BLM sign because it makes you mad, is a racist act.

It’s time to get a grip. We don’t need you to tell us that all lives matter. Our deep belief is that all lives should matter. Our signs and our presence are a statement that this can only be true when the lives of people of color no longer remain at great risk in our country, which they do. They remain at risk from police violence; from disproportionate incarceration; from the vast inequality in income and wealth; and the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all people of color, a direct result of their unequal access to health care and economic justice.

Your criminal mischief does not scare or intimidate us. In fact, you remind us of how much more there is to do to end the pain and damage of racism. We will continue to display and replace our signs and to stand peacefully in support of Black Lives Matter. More importantly we will work even harder for racial and economic justice. We will vote and we will get others to vote as we build a movement for social and economic justice for all. As John R. Lewis recently said before he left us: “Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. “

Onward.

MARCIA METCALFE

Meadville

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