From: Kathy Cadow Parsonnet
Sent: Monday, April 01, 2013 9:48 AM
To: Nancy Kramer
Cc: Rabbi Boraz
Subject: Hate crimes in Norwich
To the Norwich Select board,
I am sure you are well aware of the anti‐semetic graffiti that has popped up in Norwich over the past two years, as are
most people in Norwich and the greater Upper Valley.
I understand from news articles and word of mouth that the Norwich Police have been attending to this issue and are
trying their best to identify the perpetrator(s) of these hate crimes. I also hear that many Norwich residents are afraid to
speak out about it because they are afraid that the suspected perpetrator (in their minds) may burn their homes or do
some other vengeful act.
Such is the state of our safe Norwich community.
While I understand that it is the Police's job to investigate and enforce the laws against hate crimes, I believe that it is
the Community's responsibility to speak up ‐ very loudly ‐ about its zero tolerance for these types of crimes. The lack of
doing so sends an even louder message that a few swastikas and incorrigible words about a race or religion is not really
much of a big deal.
So, I will draw upon my experiences of September 2000, when Norwich faced similar assaults. I am enclosing a few
scans of the reports by the Valley News back then, to refresh your memory. The outpouring of concern by all segments
of the population in the Upper Valley was evident; each of the schools took the assaults seriously, an interfaith coalition
was formed, and a community vigil for respect and understanding was held to send a strong message that those
incidents would not be accepted in this community. Later that year, the Anti‐Defamation League of New England
awarded and honored The Upper Valley Community for its strong stand and response. I am enclosing the write‐up they
included in their 2000 Annual Report.
I am also enclosing the photo of the graffiti on the I‐91 bridge over Rt 132 last evening, for you to contemplate. This is
not simply an eyesore.
I encourage the Select Board to consider taking a very public stance about this issue. It will carry much more weight if
made before the public's outcry, which I aim to inspire.
Kathy Cadow Parsonnet