Published March 27, 2020

This is an open letter to all of Melrose from Mayor Paul Brodeur, Police Chief Mike Lyle, Supt. of Schools Cyndy Taymore, the Board of Directors of the Melrose Alliance Against Violence and the Melrose Clergy Association.

The COVID-19 virus has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives. As situations worsen in the job sector and as more cases arise, people’s fears are understandable. For those who need something or someone to blame, members of our Asian American community are easy targets.

This is completely unacceptable.

Across the country, there are reports of despicable hate, bigotry and scapegoating of Asian Americans. Please don’t think it can’t happen in Melrose. A mother in our community reached out because she is worried about her Asian American children, based on past experiences of racism and the current national climate.

We have seen how large scale crises are breeding grounds for hatred and bigotry. If we are not careful, we will see an even larger increase in hate crimes, this time targeting the Asian community. We must take a stand and say that even in our darkest hour, hate has no home here.

Please talk with your children and tell them in no uncertain terms that Asian Americans are not to blame for this virus. Monitor your own words and actions, including online, which set an example.

Please do not allow this crisis to breed hate and division in our community. Our hope is that we can all come together and rise to our greatest common humanity as we experience this challenge.