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First Selectman Marpe Denounces Racist Fliers Found In Westport

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe Photo Credit: File

WESTPORT, Conn. — Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe released this statement regarding the distribution of hate fliers found in Westport on Sunday.

The statement, released early Monday, did not detail where the fliers were found or how many were distributed.

Marpe refers to similar incidents nearly two years in town. In February, white supremacist fliers were found in Norwalk , Weston and Wilton .

Here is Marpe's full statement on the incident this past weekend in Westport:

Once again, Westport residents have found fliers with disturbing messages in their driveways, in this case with neo-Nazi and white supremacist content. This latest incident comes almost two years to the day after disturbing fliers appeared in other parts of our town.

I am concerned and angry that once again statements like this have found their way to Westport homes. As I said two years ago, this kind of ethnic ugliness has no place anywhere, and certainly not in Westport. I have always been proud to speak of Westport as an open and welcoming community, and I continue to believe that the vast majority of Westporters practice that belief through tolerance, inclusion and everyday civil behavior.

Unfortunately, the last few years and months have reminded us that our nation still needs to deal with some serious societal and behavioral issues, and we are again reminded that Westport is not necessarily immune.

Westport must not tolerate the threatening, bullying and hateful messages that are at the heart of these fliers. We must reinforce our commitment to civil discourse and to the tolerance for residents of all backgrounds.

Regardless of the reasons behind these intolerant statements, we must create a political and social climate that rejects these kinds of statements out of hand and allows all opinions to be heard in an open and non-threatening manner.

Our police department is working with other area police departments to attempt to identify the source of these latest disturbing and inflammatory messages.

The town is also working with the Connecticut region Anti-Defamation League to identify possible sources but also to seek ways to appropriately combat this type of threatening activity.

I will also ask TEAM Westport to again work with the interfaith clergy and other appropriate town agencies and civic groups to lead our community's response to these outrageous statements and, as importantly, how to deal with the behaviors and beliefs that underpin them.

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