Last Friday racist notes were found taped to a sign that was memorializing Congressman John Lewis in Ferndale not even two weeks after his passing. The notes read: "This is a disgrace to Ferndale and all white people. You need to move now and take your racist beliefs with you. You do not belong in my country that our people have fought and died for. Get out of this town now," and "White Lives Matter."
This threatening note was attached to a harmless sign — that was paying respect to a civil rights leader who sacrificed so much and fought so hard to create a more racially equitable society that we enjoy today — is completely unacceptable, and I believe that it bothers so many other people in this town as well. However, instances like this are often just brushed off by leaders in the community and hardly spoken about publicly. It is extremely frustrating as a young person who has lived here for a majority of his life to feel completely hopeless in combating this racism in Ferndale. No town in the United States should be a place in which one can be run out of town for advocating for racial equality.
Therefore, I write this letter to urge Mayor Michael Sweeney, Vice Mayor Steve Avis, Councilman Robin Smith, Councilwoman Kathleen Bullard, and Councilwoman Jennifer Fisk Becker to provide the community with a statement condemning the racist activity that has occurred in the past and continues to occur today in Ferndale.
Like so many others, I care about this town deeply and want it to have a better reputation in Humboldt County. After several instances over the years, the Ferndale City Council has never once provided the community with its own public statement condemning any form of racism in Ferndale.
Basil Piazza, Ferndale