Swimming Beyond Racism
A dedicated swimmer is back in the pool after being the victim of a hate crime five months ago, according to ABC 7 News.
Omid, a 15-year-old middle school student from Chicago, heard the words “Hey Persian,” before he was violently attacked by one of his peers. The attacker broke Omid’s collarbone on both sides.
Omid worried that he would ever be able to swim again. But, as he recovered, he received a visit from Olympic swimmer B.J. Johnson. The visit gave Omid the confidence to continue doing what he loved.
Along with Johnson, community members came together to support his family.
“We have all this outpouring of support...that’s what’s really helped,” said Omid’s mother, Melissa Babakhani. “We’re just going to focus on the good.”
Although he still feels physical and emotional pain from the incident, Omid is swimming once again. “It affected me, but I am strong enough to get over it,” he said.
South Carolina Town Openly Supports Gay Police Chief
The conservative town of Latta, SC recently rallied together to save openly gay police chief Crystal Moore’s job, according to LGBTQ Nation.
After 20 years working in law enforcement, Moore was fired in April, when the town mayor condemned her lifestyle. Despite Latta’s politically conservative nature, the community came together to pass a vote of confidence in her. Additionally, the town council set up an election that would allow the police chief position to be elected rather than be appointed by the mayor.
Moore was officially reinstated as the town’s police chief at the end of June, and was greeted by positivity. Since the incident, Moore has become an activist, encouraging laws to stop discrimination based on sexuality.
Town Councilman Jarrett Taylor states, “Crystal is a good chief and she loves this town [....] It made me proud of my town to see everybody come out for her the way they did.”
Hundreds Publicly Gather to Protest Racist Symbol in US Post Office
Community members came together on July 22 after discovering a noose hanging from the ceiling of their post office in Worcester, MA, according to Boston’s WHDH 7News.
A Worcester resident, who took photographs of the noose, had asked the post office to take the noose down, saying it can be interpreted as threatening and racist. Hundreds of people attended the rally, which was referred to as “A Community Gathering for Unity” on Main Street in front of Worcester City Hall last Tuesday.
According to the Worcester Telegram, the rally was sponsored by various people and organizations, including the mayor’s office and the local chapter’s NAACP.
Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus spoke at the rally, encouraging the community to be involved in times like these.
“Any time we see hate or intolerance or any kind of threatening activity it is important for the community to speak up and call attention to that,” said Augustus. “I think it sends a signal that this is not a place where that will be tolerated, this is not a place where that will be accepted."