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Monday, June 8, 2020

A Reader Responds to Former Solon Mayor Bob Paulson's Op-Ed Asking Northeast Ohio to Not Beat Up on Chagrin Falls

Posted By on Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 4:14 PM

  • Tim Evanson/FlickrCC
Former Solon Mayor Bob Paulson’s Op-ed to — "Don’t beat up Chagrin Falls for protecting its quaint business district. Some Cleveland shop owners probably wish they’d done the same" — ends with this sentence: “That is not fair to a tiny village like Chagrin Falls.”

With all do respect to your work in public service and what you have given to your community, this opinion confused me.

This comes off as a defensive piece placing Chagrin Falls as the victim and is yet another distraction from the actual issue our society faces. Chagrin Falls is a nice place, a slice of Americana, a utopia, if you will.

It doesn’t really matter if they are light blue, purple, pink, or fuchsia. Amy Cooper showed us this in Central Park, NY two weeks ago. Fear of the African American community exists, and white isolation is the response to that fear.

Communities like Chagrin Falls, Medina, Avon (who also experienced peaceful protests) are the part of America that offers the most opportunity for changing this underlying fear. I do not condone violence or rioting in any way, but I understand the anger. I am a frequent shopper at Heinens, Geiger's and a diner at Yours Truly, and I am sorry for their damage. These businesses will hopefully get back to normal eventually, with help from insurers and the community rallying behind them to restore their margins.

It is absolutely incumbent upon white folks like me and Bob Paulson to ensure that this momentum towards making the actual change does not get back to normal, which would be a return to a state of complacency and status quo.

That is why I took the time to respond to this Op-ed. Mr. Paulson, Solon is a nice community and has doubled its African American demographic since you have been mayor. I would recommend sitting down with some of these families and getting an understanding of what it is like to raise a black family in 2020. At this point we can have a better sense of what isn’t fair, and for who.

Daniel Carcioppolo
Shaker Heights

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