[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written and submitted by a verified resident. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of South King Media, nor its staff.]
The following views, words and statement are mine alone and do not reflect those of the city of Burien, its staff nor the rest of the council’s.
Dear Burien residents,
I feel the need to explain why I proposed censuring a fellow councilmember during a City Council meeting on September 18th. It is not a motion that I take lightly. We had a very heated discussion on Ordinance 818, more commonly known as the anti-camping ordinance. During this discussion, councilmember Garcia suggested this proposed ordinance was “reeking of white supremacy.” This type of biased, racist rhetoric has no place in our city or our local government. Describing something so outlandishly as “white supremacy” is factually incorrect and crosses a line. As a Latina and one of those brown people councilmember Garcia spoke about, I will not stand for this behavior.
I’d like to point out that three of the four councilmembers who voted in favor of the anti-camping ordinance are people of color. To suggest that three people of color are racist strains common sense and logic. Our council is very diverse and I’m proud of that. It isn’t just the diversity in the color of our skin or our race. It includes diversity in genders, childhood history, income levels, education levels, family status, and most importantly neighborhood diversity. The color of someone’s skin or ethnic background does not reduce the validity of their point of view.
Councilmember Garcia was wrong and he should have been censured for the comments he made. Hate has no place here. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time he’s pulled such a stunt and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I find that ironic because councilmember Garcia campaigned wearing a t-shirt that said “Empathy, Kindness, Respect.”
I will continue to call out this nonsense when it happens. Hopefully, in the meantime, at least one of my fellow councilmembers will take the time to look up in a dictionary what the words “white supremacy” and “empathy” mean. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s any hope for “kindness” and “respect.”
– Stephanie Mora
We reached out to councilmember Garcia for a response to Mora’s letter, but he said: “No comment.” However, he did share this comment on social media on Sept. 20, 2023:
“Systemic racism is rooted in white supremacy. One can make policy decisions that enable and further prolong systemic racism regardless of your race.”
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