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Teegrey Iannuzzi: Gratitude to town manager Paul Bockelman


Thursday, November 24, 2022

I am celebrating the fact that, after several months of discourse about the interaction between the police and youth on July 5 in Amherst, Town Manager Paul Bockelman apologized.

I have been watching closely the work that the town councilors have been engaged in since passing the December 2020 resolution: “To end structural racism and achieve racial equity for black residents.” I commend the awesome progress the local government has made including creating the African Heritage Reparations Assembly. It has been a lot of long hours of deliberation and committed focus on these efforts toward justice.

Making a public apology is a breath of fresh air in our toxic white supremacy culture that unfortunately pervades all levels of our country. One of the traits of white supremacy culture is not being accountable for one’s actions.

Making mistakes is a normal part of being human. Hopefully we learn from our mistakes. But denying mistakes were made just magnifies the harm already done.

Thank you, Paul Bockelman for modeling for our whole community some humility and integrity by apologizing. It is good to see people in positions of power doing this. Such healthy accountable behavior benefits all of us. This action and the reparations efforts in Amherst gives me much hope that the toxic white supremacy culture (which can be conscious or unconscious) is beginning to disintegrate in local government. May it be so.

Teegrey Iannuzzi

Shutesbury