Letters to the editor

New Committee in Dobbs Ferry Speaks Out About Racism

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December 17, 2020

Recently, an interracial family’s Black Lives Matter lawn sign was defaced by the covering of the word “Black” with the word “All.” Similar signs appear on their neighbors’ lawns but only this family’s sign was singled out and vandalized.

We strongly condemn this act. This represents an attack on everyone in our community, our collective humanity. As residents of Dobbs Ferry, we – the members of the village’s new Human Rights and Diversity Committee – continue to be alarmed by such expressions of racism.

When a Black Lives Matter sign is re-written as “All Lives Matter,” some may believe that change sticks up for equality. This reflects a misunderstanding of what Black Lives Matter represents. These words do NOT mean “Only Black Lives Matter” or “Black Lives Matter More Than Others.”

Let’s understand what the words DO mean: Black Lives Matter, Too.

Until Black lives really do matter equally, cancelling that message only perpetuates the open and hidden racism in our midst. Replacing it with All Lives Matter covers up the inequality that plagues us and stalls the necessary conversations we need to fix within our village and our nation. In a nation that professes equality, Black Americans’ lives have, tragically, never mattered as much as white Americans’ lives. Every available metric – income, work discrimination, health access, housing, maternal and child mortality, abuse of voting rights, rates of arrest and incarceration, and more – screams this inequality. The consequences are immense. Everyone suffers this damage to the heart and soul of Dobbs Ferry.

The Dobbs Ferry Human Rights and Diversity Committee was formed by Mayor Rossillo and the Board of Trustees to not only address these types of  incidents, but to work together with our village officials and community members to assist with recognizing, educating, advising, and referring matters related to inclusion, human rights, diversity, and equity within our village. Our group consists of 12 Dobbs Ferry residents who are your neighbors and friends. We invite you to share your concerns or matters with us directly. Confidentiality assured.

The Dobbs Ferry Human Rights and Diversity Committee
Mayor Vincent Rossillo and Board of Trustees
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