March 23, 2021
Dear Members of the Town of Duxbury Board of Selectmen:
When you issued a historic anti-discrimination Proclamation on February 1, you made public your resolve to make Duxbury a community that is safe and welcoming for all. The first test of that resolve is here now— sooner than any of us might have imagined.
We at Prejudice Free Duxbury were appalled to hear that our high school football team used blatantly anti- Semitic and other racist language in its play calls in a recent game. A lapse of judgment on the part of immature young men? We think not. The choice of words such as “Auschwitz”, “Gas Chamber”, “Hitler” and “Holocaust” can have one intent only—to hurt and offend. This behavior is symptomatic not only of bias, but the belief that belittling others is somehow acceptable behavior. The trivialization of genocide by coaches and players sets a precedent that has no place in building young men into future leaders.
If it were one instance it would be bad enough, but there are reports that these calls have been used for some time, which means that the coaches cannot have been ignorant of them. That some coaches—teachers in our school system—would let something like this pass is inexcusable. The head coach has issued an apology, but has taken no responsibility for condoning this behavior; the Superintendent and Principal are investigating the matter, and talking about team training. Is this enough?
You made a bold public statement, and we’re proud of you for doing so. We ask you now, what will you do to prove you meant it? Will those who allowed this to continue be called to task? Will you take substantive action to make sure it never happens again? Will you tell the people of Duxbury and the Commonwealth that Duxbury does stand by its anti-discrimination beliefs, and that we are truly committed to making our town safe and welcoming for all?
We at Prejudice Free Duxbury are here to help you—we’ll do everything we can to support your efforts to make this a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community.
Prejudice Free Duxbury Steering Committee
Rev. Dr. Catherine Cullen Tara Downes
Karl Kunz Laura Neprud
Karen Wong Elika Dadsetan-Foley
Maarten Hemsley Fred L’Ecuyer
Please note that Prejudice Free Duxbury is being renamed:
Duxbury for All - Promoting Diversity, Equity & Inclusion