Dear County Commissioners Mason, Jacob and Fithian:
The Social Action Committee for Racial Justice (SACRJ) requests your participation in the Town Hall meeting called by Mayor Chris Cerino for March 2 to discuss the recent incidents of racial terror by Kent County youth on the Washington College campus. Please know that in addition to Mayor Cerino representatives from Washington College, the Chestertown Police Department, and Kent County Public Schools will be attending. We hope you will recognize the importance of this dialog for our community and offer your full support to improving race relations in our county.
During your campaign for office the Political Subcommittee of the SACRJ interviewed you and every candidate running for County Commissioner. You were asked to describe how you understand racism in Kent County. Mr. Mason, you said that there has always been racism in Kent County and that African American leaders should step up to involve their people. Mr. Jacob, you replied that you never gave it a thought. Mr. Fithian, you said, “I don’t see racism.” After five racial incidents on the Washington College campus perpetrated by Kent County youth, there is clearly racism in Kent County and it is time for you to take this problem seriously.
All the Commissioner candidates were asked whether they would agree to complete racism-awareness training such as an Undoing Racism workshop during their first year in office and whether they would ensure that their staff would take such training. You each agreed that you would take such training and that you would request that the county staff do so. You have not done so nor inquired how you might help make this happen
You also promised to meet with representatives of the SACRJ regularly to discuss racism issues in the County. We have made numerous requests in writing for these meetings. You have not bothered to reply to any of our requests.
The SACRJ is hopeful that you will choose to take part in addressing the issues of racism in our community by attending the open meeting on March 2. We will be there and we will be looking for you.
Arlene Lee and Paul Tue, III – Co-chairs
Social Action Committee for Racial Justice