TO THE EDITOR:
A member of our community came onto our property and cut down and removed a Black Lives Matter banner we had attached to our fence facing the street.
Over the summer, we secured the top of the banner with string to our fence. One day, the banner was flipped over to the other side of the fence where it could not be seen from the road. Hoping the wind had blown it over, we flipped it back. But it happened again on calmer windless days.
We then fastened the bottom of the banner with fishing wire to the fence. A few weeks later, however, the wire had been cut, and the banner had been flipped again.
We then stapled the banner to our fence. The other morning, however, the banner was gone, and only the loosened staples remained.
Two issues are at play. The first involves the suppression of speech. Regardless of what the banner said, it is disturbing that a member of our community came onto our property and removed our sign presumably because they disagreed with its content. The second and more pernicious issue is that someone in our neighborhood is seeking to silence our statement in support of racial justice and equity. We are disappointed to see this kind of behavior in our town.
We will not be prevented from speaking out, even in this modest way, against systemic racism. We have replaced our banner with a Blacks Lives Matter lawn sign; and, if that sign is removed, we will replace it, again and again as necessary.
— The Silbert Family
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