Yes, we have all noticed the increase in incivility in Chelsea.
We have school board members suggesting we burn a book by a Nobel Prize winning author. We have people filing nuisance lawsuits with trumped up claims of stalking and voyeurism.
We have people defending the person who punched a minor in the face for espousing beliefs that differed from their own. The responding police officer failed to record the teen’s statement or address her injuries. Let’s not forget that point, no matter how certain political candidates want to spin it.
What has changed?
A small vocal movement has sprung up in our community with one objective: to force us to believe that our traditional modes of behavior are correct and unchangeable and, if they deem necessary, might makes right.
Those of us who strive for more understanding, more diversity, and more sensitivity for traditionally marginalized communities—those of us who believe in this city and its inhabitants’ ability to love all community members better—are framed as “radical,” “unregulated,” on the “attack,” and trying to “infiltrate all of our institutions.”
Let us be very clear. We have always been here. Perhaps our numbers are growing, or perhaps those of us who have long resided in Chelsea, shaking our heads at the visible signs of bigotry, have finally had enough and are ready to speak up.
Nobody who is approaching their neighbors with love or understanding has anything to fear from “Radical Activists”; that is a misnomer meant to inspire fear. There is nothing to fear from Critical Race Theory, which only seeks to acknowledge that our country has a shady past, and only by acknowledging that past can we move forward.
The simple truth is, there is nothing radical about love, and aside from wear and tear on our physical and mental health when those who oppose radical love get belligerent or even violent, practicing radical love doesn’t cost a thing.
Jeni McFarland, Cathy Kattula, and Jacquelyn Rose Bullerman