We are members of the Black Student Alliance at Yarmouth High School. Our goal is to bring awareness to topics that African Americans and Black people face by having safe discussions about ways to eliminate racism, prejudice, inequality, discrimination and more. We represent and amplify our Black students’ voices and concerns on topics, especially those that address and promote social and political issues pertinent to Black people.

The recent hate crime (a spray painting of the N-slur) in Yarmouth has truly affected us. As Black people in a predominantly white town, it makes us feel extremely unsafe. When we first heard the news we were confused as to why no one was speaking publicly about the matter until we realized that it only truly affects a small population in our community. The hate crime was reported twice. Initially, an officer who checked the site did not recognize any form of hate speech due to a misunderstanding. The officer stated that the N-slur looked like “N19” because the spray paint was faded.

In a statement issued on the Yarmouth Police Department Facebook page, they classified the act as hate speech. Although this is great, we think it is important the department acknowledge the graffiti was a racial slur and condemn the act for its harm to the Black community. This would mean a lot to us. We would be open to meeting with the Yarmouth PD as well. Thank you.

Leila Tati Pambou & Lerman Waiss
(With the support of the Black Student Alliance: Ingrid Isaro, Matilda Murray, Amelia Gardner, Emma Burrows, Amelia Kostin, Dorcas and Bettina Bolese, Arthur Currie and adviser Justine Carlisle.)