We write to express strong support for Oak Park Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb and our dismay at the harassment and vandalism he and his family experienced during a recent virtual village board meeting. While in their own home, they faced a crowd estimated by Wednesday Journal as 100 individuals.
We were pleased that the misguided resolution on defunding the Oak Park police was debated and then defeated during this meeting. We applaud Anan’s eloquent closing remarks. As a nation and as a village, we should support and strengthen our democratic government institutions and use these to address the pressing issues we face, including racism and the need for police reform and accountability.
Abandoning these institutions and processes to the vocabulary and theater of maximalist demands is a mistake. It is not what we expect of mature political leaders.
Treating our representatives as we would never wish to be treated ourselves, trespassing on and destroying their property, and seeking to intimidate them has no place in the U.S. or in Oak Park.
The issue is not placing property or tranquility over human lives. It is recognizing that how we treat each other in the public sphere translates directly and powerfully into how we value the lives of our fellow Americans.
Mark and Evelyn Segal