SALINE, Mich. – There was an effort underway Wednesday night to dial down the tensions in Saline over two incidents of racism.
First, there was a Snapchat thread using slurs to describe several of Saline High School’s African American football players. Then there was a racist outburst from a parent at a meeting meant to promote diversity.
A lot of people gathered in downtown Saline to participate in the peaceful rally because they’re disappointed at what’s been going on in their small town.
People walked up and down Michigan Avenue holding signs. People in the rally said they are speaking out against hate and not backing down. They worked to promote peace in the city they call home, hoping to stand in solidarity with neighbors.
“I really don’t want what happened recently to reflect on our community. We are a good community. We’re nice people,” Chris Kochmanski said.
Kochmanski said the call for action comes just days after tense moments inside the meeting to promote diversity. Parents voiced concerns during the meeting, but one comment that stood out was when one parent asked another “Why didn’t you just stay in Mexico?”
“It was really appalling to see it, and to hear it,” Kochmanski said. “We can’t be complacent. We also can’t not respond to it either. I’m open to different opinions, but that’s just not good and that’s not us and so we can’t let it go.”