Letter - Sorely disappointed in Trumbull

Editor’s note — This is a shortened version of an open letter to the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force members.

To the editor;

I want to offer you all an apology. Last year as our country came to grips with systemic racism, frequently exemplified by police brutality against people of color, I and other well-meaning members of the Town Council thought it would be beneficial for Trumbull to listen to and amplify the voices of those who are frequently overlooked.

When we created the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, it never occurred to me that its members would face threats of violence and hate crimes or that these would be posted publicly on the Trumbull Police Union’s homepage. Nor could I imagine the Police Union and Police Commission chairman would not only refuse to denounce these threats, but would fuel this hate with their public statements and tolerance of inappropriate personal disclosures.

I would not have thought that a minority of people, including the Police Commission chairman, would call for the resignation of EDIT’s chairman for speaking her truth, with no effort to understand her experience. Or that they would be too blind to see how these calls are an attempt to silence diverse voices when they are deemed inconvenient, and would lead to white supremacist vitriol exhibited by a smaller minority.

I also would never have believed our first selectman would come up so short in her response, failing to call out the bad actors. A well-meaning attempt to defuse the situation took the place of true leadership, and left a decent, hard-working volunteer to deal with these threats alone, in a town where she clearly could not expect protection from the police.

I did not expect this, but I am sorely disappointed by it. I apologize for putting you in this situation, I clearly had too much faith in Trumbull.

Joseph Gerics, former member (D)

Trumbull Town Council