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02/22/2023 08:08 AM

A Racist Agenda is Not Welcome

Does Old Saybrook have a racism problem?

It sure looks like it. Between the flyers promoting the New England Nationalist Social Group showing up in one of our neighborhoods and this recent letter (“Murals Belong in Urban Areas,” Feb. 2) decrying the mural art on Main Street because the works celebrate cultural diversity, there is some disturbing white supremacist rhetoric being promoted and vocalized in a way that should give our community pause. You could write off those comments as exceptional, but a recent post from the Old Saybrook Historical Society—during Black History Month!—comes to mind in which they make reference to “modern-day woke historians.” It’s this kind of language that emboldens people to feel that their belief system aligns with the majority of the community.

Is this indeed the case? I’d like to believe that it’s not, but these recent incidents suggest that there is a strong white supremacist element festering beneath the surface of our marshes, seascapes, and sunsets.

I urge the community, and town leaders, to make it clear that a racist agenda is not welcome in our town, whether it’s coming from a citizen, a rogue dispensing white supremacist literature, or an organization that serves as the official custodian of Old Saybrook’s complicated history.

Earl Swain

Old Saybrook