Pelham Democrats say politics is one facet in responding to swastikas


Editor’s note: This press release was issued by the Pelham Democratic Committee.

Along with every decent person, the Pelham Democratic Committee deplores the discovery of swastikas in our school. Many people have eloquently expressed how aggression against any group is an offense against us all, and we echo their sentiments. To quote the signs many of us proudly display: hate has no home here. It should have no home anywhere.

There is, rightly, much discussion over how to respond to the swastikas, and to the environment in which such symbols, and worse, are increasingly common. We on the Committee find one part of the answer in politics. We work to ensure fair and competitive elections, and to elect candidates who we are confident will promote a safe, thriving Pelham for everyone. We advocate for measures that reflect our values. We knock on doors, not only to encourage support for such candidates and measures, but also because there are in our country so many people deliberately fostering distrust among neighbors, and that in itself is corrosive. Knocking on strangers’ doors is difficult; we would rather not. But combatting distrust requires work. It requires sharing information, and finding connection, one person at a time.

We on the Committee often hear that “politics” is irrelevant locally, and we all know people who are “not political.” But “politics” is simply the word we use to describe the rules we decide on, collectively, in order to live together. It’s not some distant concept. It is how we decide where crossing guards go, and how tall buildings should be. It is decisions that affect us all every day. And our involvement in those decisions, or lack of involvement, profoundly affects the results. Even the least “political” of us has a significant political impact, through the products we buy, the causes we support, the jokes we laugh at, nearly every action we take. The question is: Is it the impact we intend?

What should we do about the swastikas? We on the Committee say: do something. Illustrate for our children that creating the community we want is our obligation, important enough to make time for. Come join us, or join another group that better reflects your beliefs. Collaboration is frustrating and flawed; do it anyway. Do something positive, with others, not out of idealism, but out of necessity. There is no other way.