Ferndale Passes Resolution Denouncing White Supremacy

Ferndale Passes Resolution Denouncing White Supremacy

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Aug. 30, 2019)

Ferndale, MI-At their Monday evening meeting, Ferndale City Council approved a resolution denouncing white supremacy.  The resolution was the first put forward by the newest Councilmember Dennis Whittie who was appointed to the position earlier this month.

“Over the past year, several xenophobic pamphlets have been discovered throughout our community and across the metro Detroit region,” said Whittie in the introduction to the resolution.  “Invasive rhetorical messaging from white nationalist hate groups is in direct opposition with the City’s adopted vision statement and core values (inclusiveness, integrity, inspiration, and innovation). Given the proliferation of xenophobic and hateful messaging throughout the community and region over the past year, City Council and City  Administration believe that a reaffirmation of the City’s vision statement and core values demonstrate our commitment toward being a welcoming community that seeks to live its vision and values in direct opposition of this hateful rhetoric.”

Whittie later told Oakland County Times “The resolution came about because of the alarmingly increased activity of white supremacy throughout the country. We have witnessed mass shootings based on white supremacy and they are increasing in frequency. In addition, several residents in Ferndale received an anti-LGBT flyer in the mail. I personally received one last year.”

When asked about instances of intimidation, Ferndale Police Sgt. Baron Brown said “Ferndale is a place where we’re diverse and inclusive, and I think word gets out about that and it makes us a target.”  He said there have been instances of fliers placed on vehicles and public areas.  Free speech protects the content of the fliers, but putting fliers without permission can be an infraction.  “We used to get something like that every few years maybe, but in the past two to three there has been more of it.”

Whittie hopes the resolution will send a statement to those who try to spread hate.  “I think it’s important to take an official stance as a community that we stand against hate and hateful violent activities. We cannot let anyone even begin to think that this is normal. We in Ferndale simply will not permit this hate in our community and I believed a resolution to make that formal statement is important. Even though at times we have contentious disagreements, this is one issue where the community surely stands united.”

The resolution states:

“Ferndale has discovered pamphlets in several areas of the City over the past year; and Underscoring that our community values of inclusiveness, integrity, inspiration, and innovation oppose racism and white supremacy requires continual effort and vigilance; and The ideals of our vision as a benchmark for a modern community that embraces the richness of diversity and brings inclusive hospitality to life stand in direct opposition with the hateful and divisive rhetoric espoused by white nationalist hate groups, and Civic leaders are encouraged to unite in strength to stand against hateful and divisive rhetoric to ensure it does not become common and accepted in our region; and Knowing that these hateful activities are occurring in our community compels the Council and Administration to speak with one voice; and Illustrating and memorializing our community values is one of the key purposes of a resolution; and Striving to be a more inclusive community benefits the City and region as one entity; NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF FERNDALE DO RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1.That we affirm that Ferndale is a welcoming community to all people, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or country of origin. We stand united against racist, xenophobic groups that promote bigotry and hatred. We reject all forms of racism and white supremacy and speak out against anyone who wishes to divide us by prejudice.

Section 2.Furthermore, we resolve to put words into action and work actively to identify ways in which the diversity of Ferndale can be supported and celebrated.”

The resolution does not create any new rules or have any aspect of enforcement; it is simply a statement of values.

Video Shows Man Sought by Police After Taping Anti-Semitic Fliers to Church Doors (Sept. 4, 2018)

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