A Unified Statement Denouncing Hate Symbols in the City of Beverly

 

January 29, 2021
To our Beverly community,
In the past month, we have received troubling reports of stickers, recruitment flyers, and most recently the display of a flag attributable to white-supremacy groups, including the Patriot Front and Three Percenters. In the past six months, we have also witnessed vandalism to city stop signs with anti-Asian, anti-Black, and anti-Semitic messaging, and theft of Black Lives Matter flags from personal property.

 

This hate messaging seeks to intimidate, demean, and marginalize members of our beloved community. The City of Beverly emphatically denounces overt or subtle statements, actions, or symbols that promote hate or division. To Beverly’s Black, Brown, Indigenous and other community members of color; Jewish community and other faith members; and LGBTQ+ residents: we are here for you, we see you, and we appreciate you. Your neighbors and city leaders stand with you. We are committed to continuing to build a more diverse and inclusive community—one in which everyone feels safe, valued, and heard, no matter their race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, language, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or abilities.
Hate speech is an extreme form of intolerance that we believe can lead to hate crime if unaddressed. According to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s page on Hate Crimes, hateful and offensive speech or symbols alone do not necessarily violate the law. Rather, the law prohibits certain kinds of physical or verbal conduct, such as threats, intimidation, or coercion.  Whether or not legal or law enforcement action is available, we need to ensure that we resolutely respond with our collective voice denouncing hate speech and symbols of hate at all times.

 

How can we stand with our neighbors against hate?

 

  1. Call the Beverly Police Department at 978-922-1212 and report what you have seen or experienced. No sign or symbol is too small to report. The Civil Rights Officer will be contacted and if the action constitutes a bias incident or hate crime, will document it accordingly and connect you to other resources and support. You may also contact the Beverly Police Department’s Anonymous Tip Line: 978-921-6046, ext. 1.

    In addition, tips can be submitted online, also anonymously, through the Beverly Police Department’s website at http://beverlypd.org/webtips.html by hitting the "Submit a Tip" button and can also be accessed through the MyPD smartphone app. You may leave out any personal information if you wish to remain anonymous, the choice is always yours. The information you fill in will be sent to the police department and the police may contact you for further information if you leave them the appropriate information to do so.

  2. Report your finding to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) https://www.adl.org/reportincident?gclid=CjwKCAiA9bmABhBbEiwASb35V9ejeDMRoITPZuiFz4O7ubTeeoGiRPUiJWuzyEh8y9HsOhn2gZTQ4BoCHQsQAvD_BwE
  3. If you have been the victim of an act of discrimination, contact the Massachusetts Coalition Against Discrimination https://www.mass.gov/file-a-complaint-of-discrimination
  4. Educate yourself and others on the history and symbols of bias and hate
  5. Engage in respectful dialogue with people of different backgrounds and views.
  6. If you see something, say something! Don’t leave the heaviest work to people who have been targeted by hate or bias. Speak out immediately and explain that derogatory or hate-filled comments or actions aren’t acceptable to you.
  7. Empower children and family members with facts, education, and open, honest discussion about racism, bias, and how to be an ally.
  8. Believe the truth of people’s lived experiences.
  9. Get involved with local groups that promote peace and denounce hate, including:  

 

 

Multifaith Coalition: https://www.facebook.com/Beverly-Multifaith-Coalition-625652340949568/
Beverly Human Rights Committee: https://www.beverlyma.gov/351/Human-Rights-Committee
Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: https://www.beverlyma.gov/560/Diversity-Equity-Inclusion
NAACP Northshore: https://northshoremanaacp.com/

Nurturing a healthy, happy community is a collective responsibility, and we are proud to stand together with you, our Beverly residents, in these efforts. 

 

 

 


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