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It has often been said that all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do or say nothing. Recent attacks on mixed-race and African-American children and their families have raised long-buried feelings about racism. The violence that has been inflicted on these families should remove any sense of complacency our community may have felt that we are immune from the shocking ugliness of racism and hate crimes.

Yes, our city has been scarred. But moreover, the damage wreaked upon the psyches and sense of security of those families has gone much deeper and will take far longer to heal than any of the physical injuries they suffered.

What is even more disturbing than the attacks is the absence of an immediate and aggressive response by city officials outside the police commissioner's office. As chairwoman of the Racial Justice Committee of the YWCA of Western New York, I urge Mayor Masiello, Common Council members, community and religious leaders and all residents to denounce these hateful acts and pledge to work to educate our neighborhoods and our children. We must send a strong and clear message that this community will not tolerate these hateful and reprehensible crimes.

Sharon Thomas

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