There’s No Place for Racism in Cincinnati – Matt Teaford for City Council

Prior to the abolition of slavery in 1865, Cincinnati was a pivotal city in assuring freedom for slaves escaping the tyranny of plantation life in the south. The site of one of America’s first multi-ethnic movements; it was a vital spot at the terminus of many underground railroad lines.  For many, the sight of Cincinnati meant that they were no longer property: they were humans.

For this reason, we’ve erected the Underground Railroad Freedom Center at the heart of our riverfront: a constant reminder of how influential our city was for so many in that time of great injustice. Given the current political climate and recent events, I believe that it’s of the utmost importance to remind many of my peers of our significance with the hope that we never allow for a rally filled with hateful rhetoric; especially one based on ethnicity.

Did you know that our physical appearance only accounts for around .01% of our genetic makeup?

Now, just think about that for a second. That’s our entire physical appearance, too. This means that less than .01% of who we are as humans is based on skin pigmentation. Even if you’re someone who favors science over history, the proof is in the numbers. We’re all so, so similar, and not so different in the grand scheme of things.

I’m writing this because, frankly, I am ashamed of many of my peers. Being a white, male figure in the community, and one who wants to represent citizens from a diverse array of backgrounds, races, creeds, and religions, it falls on me to call out ignorance-fueled racism from people of my own race. Knowing that so many involved in the hateful acts of Charlottesville came from our region, I cannot stress enough that there is no place in Cincinnati for such hatred.

My grandfather fought fascists in WWII flying the same symbol of hatred that some adorn their clothing with today. The world would be a much scarier and hateful place had he not. The lessons of history are all-too-obvious if you look close enough. Regardless of whether I’m elected or not, you can rest assured that I will fight tirelessly to ensure that Cincinnati is welcoming and that hatred, especially blatant racism, never rears its head in our city.