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Ghent passes resolution against racial hate in community

Jan 24, 2022 2:20 pm

Natasha Vaughn-Holdridge reports for Columbia-Greene Media that on Jan. 20 the Ghent Town Board unanimously voted for a resolution opposing hate after several recent racial incidents in Columbia County. On Jan. 14, three people stood near the gazebo in Chatham holding a banner reading “White Lives Matter,” a phrase often associated with a specific hate group. “I would like to point out that we do have ... unfortunately in the Capitol Region they have identified five hate groups,” Town Councilperson Patti Matheney said. “The Oathkeepers, Patriot Front, Proud Boys, Three Percenters and the New York Militia. This is very disheartening and sad to all of us.” After the Jan. 14 incident, over 100 local residents held a counter-protest at the same location on Jan. 19. “We don’t know who the people were who were presenting those flags, whether it was people from within this community or people from without,” Town Councilperson Koethi Zan said Jan. 19 at the counter-protest. “But either way they were clearly trying to divide us.” Ghent's resolution says the town maintains that everyone in the community have the right to feel safe and to be treated equally with respect and dignity regardless of their race, religion, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic status and political affiliation. “We know that across this country there have been many acts of racism and hatred and bigotry,” Ghent resident Jack Fenn said at the town meeting. “We see it in the news, but it’s always somewhere else, it’s certainly not here, but we now know that it is. It has been, I’m sure, but now we know that it is.” Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.

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