Letter: Politicizing the Darien police commission issue devalues our purpose
To the Editor:
Darien did the right thing. They didn't see it coming. They say we are a community that favors the powerful over the vulnerable. During the month since George Floyd's killing sparked our first community gathering to reject it, they have doubted our hearts and mocked our resolve.
But make no mistake. They are still watching and waiting for us to prove them right. All they need is a bit of daylight on the notion that we are divided in our commitment to being a community that rejects racism in any form. We know that it will require the courage and discomfort to look inward and take decisive action despite the threat of reproach. Let that judgment come from those who speak for us rather than of us.
The back and forth litigation of who knew what and when about the firing of Commissioner Joyce is flooding our local press. The vast majority agrees that he could no longer represent our police force without putting into question our community's values. It doesn't matter whether his words were from the heart or an error of judgment. Now we are faced with a new test. If we don't reject the politicization of this action from any and all perspectives, we will offer our critics that daylight to question whether Darien believes in racial equity and inclusiveness at all.
To pick a side in this is to devalue our purpose. I humbly suggest people resist giving power to that which might divide us, in what should be a common battle. Both sides should stand instead with the broader community in rejecting bigotry. We can't lose that as our focus.
I am an Independent with a deep commitment to finding merit in both sides. I have room to also understand those who might disagree with the dismissal. There is no merit however, in questioning the timeline or intentions of this important action. Too many more believe we did the right thing in a moment of moral clarity.
We have committed leadership from both parties. They are capable and I believe willing to come together in an even bolder shared purpose that we can all be proud of. Our children are watching and waiting. Let's come together for them and our most vulnerable. Let's commit to an indivisible Darien, united in purpose.