Statement from the New Castle Committee on Race, Equity and Inclusion (CREI)
We, the members of the Committee on Race, Equity, and Inclusion (CREI), are committed to promoting a culture of dignity, inclusion, and mutual respect for all, and seek to build a sense of unity in our town, where we honor our differences and treat one another with empathy and kindness.
We believe that raising awareness of incidents of bias occurring in our community is a crucial step toward mitigating harmful behaviors, and so we appeal to our New Castle community to understand the injury caused when residents and visitors of color are singled out and treated disparagingly. We denounce prejudiced behavior based on a person’s skin color or ethnicity and stand with our minority residents who have experienced such incidents. We encourage all residents of New Castle to be the light in the life of our neighbors and visitors of color by greeting them warmly and treating them fairly.
The following story, posted on Facebook on September 15th, has been shared widely among New Castle residents: “Yesterday at around 4pm in the parking lot near Bank of America a middle aged white woman driving a silver Lexus suv racially profiled my friend who is black. He was simply standing waiting for me in the parking lot. She asked him what he was doing. And then proceeded to take photographs of him with her phone. I am absolutely appalled by this woman’s behavior. There is absolutely NO place for this behavior in our community. We are better than this.”
Each of us can empathize with and possibly understand the trauma of someone being publicly singled out, photographed, and treated as an interloper by a stranger simply because they look different from the majority of the community. The CREI has confirmed similar recent incidents in our town, where residents of color were stopped and asked to account for their mere presence.
For those who feel passionately about the issue, your kindness to all of your neighbors is the light that will drive out division: Believe that.
As the town’s Committee on Race, Equity, and Inclusion, we offer ourselves as a resource to all residents who have experienced prejudiced behavior. We invite anyone who would like to join our work toward an equitable and inclusive community in the Town of New Castle to contact us as well. Please reach out to us at CREI@mynewcastle.org.
The Town of New Castle Committee on Race, Equity, and Inclusion
Supurna Banerjee, Co-Chair
Larry Liu, Co-Chair
Victoria Tipp, Town Board Liaison