Letter: Incidents of racism injure the character of our town

To the Editor:

Mr. Macklin Reid’s informative “Swastikas Again Defile Ballards Park” has more than upset me for the danger it represents. I was appalled to read that these symbols have appeared seven times since November 2016 without an identified culprit. Today, I join with Rabbi David Reiner of the Shir Shalom Temple: “I was sad and disappointed but not feeling scared or threatened.”

These symbols display a disease that could affect us all if we remain indifferent. “For evil to succeed, it's enough that good people do nothing!” It’s indifference that threatens us today, and that sets the ground for future catastrophes.

We must learn from the horrible attacks in our schools today, and dispute that nothing has changed. The forces of evil are stronger that we think, and can destroy us once they usurp the power.

I write with anger today, because I am a victim of yesterday’s dictatorships. My father was a victim of fascism, my 17 years old cousin was executed in a Nazi concentration camp, my mother, brother, sister were sent to a Communist gulag. Myself, I spent ten, long years in a communist prison. Yet, my family was ordinary and law-abiding.

These incidents more than injure the character of our town; they reflect a stain in our country. In our schools students learn in an atmosphere of bigotry compounded by indifference. It’s not just a responsibility for our Town Hall or even the police department. It’s a responsibility for all of us, young and old, regardless of faith, race, religion, or political conviction, to resist and act.

Let’s oppose together the evil now that we have the advantage. Let’s mobilize all people of good will. Let's detect and discredit bigotry, to ensure a safer tomorrow.

Sami Repishti, PhD.

Danbury Road, June 10