‘This is not who we are’: Warren residents, advocates denounce racist stickers

East Bay

WARREN, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Residents and elected officials in Warren are outraged by stickers promoting the KKK that have been appearing in various places around town.

The stickers, which read “The Original Boys in the Hood” and “The KKK Wants You,” were placed on various road signs throughout Warren.

Mel Bynum, the founder of the East Bay Diversity Group, called the stickers a sickness for which there is no cure.

“Just like COVID is a crisis, so is racism, and we have a vaccine for COVID, but we don’t have one for racism,” Bynum said.

But even so, she urged everyone to stand up for what is right.

“We’re not going to stand by and let people get away with racism in 2021,” she added. “It’s not going to be allowed.”

To fight back against those who are trying to spread hate, residents are instead placing new stickers up to cover the racist ones which read “Hate Has No Home Here.”

“We stand against them, we denounce them, we reject them,” Warren Town Council President Keri Cronin said. “This is not who we are.”

Cronin said when she learned of the stickers, she was enraged.

“Hate is not natural. Bigotry is not natural,” she said. “Racism is not natural, it is learned. It is taught.”

In an effort to unify the community, Bynum has organized a peaceful demonstration this weekend in front of Town Hall. The rally will take place on Sunday at 2 p.m.

“We will be a force against prejudice and we’re not going to allow people to be racist in our community,” she said. “Everyone that lives here has a right.”

The town passed a resolution last summer declaring racism a public health threat, but Bynum believes it’s going to take a lot more than that to get to the root of the problem.

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