August 12, 2020
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Must Go Further

Published July 01, 2020

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We are fortunate to live in a town with a terrific police department. In Clinton, we can sleep at night knowing we live in a safe community. We can go through our days knowing that, if in trouble, our police are responsive, capable, and fair, so I commend the Town Council for the public statement praising the Clinton Police Department and recognizing its excellent community policing policy and practices. (As a former chair of the Police Commission in another Connecticut town, I know the challenges.)

But we must go further. The issues raised since the George Floyd death—the issues of racism and equity—are not just about policing. If Clinton is to have a public discourse, begun by the young Clintonites who organized the peaceful Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstration here a few weeks ago, we need to look at more than policing. Sadly, to some extent racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, exist in all communities; Clinton is no exception. So, as a town, and with the leadership of the Town Council, we need to speak out for all.

Thanks to the public discourse that has grown out of the BLM demonstration, our library, for example, is reviewing diversity in its children’s collection. Our schools need to address curriculum as well as behavior, and the PTA has begun conversations on racism. The conversations, and hopefully action, should spread throughout Clinton, from the Board of Education to every Clinton board and commission.

Clinton, under the leadership of the Town Council, is up to this important task. Then it’s incumbent on all of us to educate ourselves and the greater community.

Phyllis McGrath