Statement from Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune Regarding Hate Speech in Providence

Over the past year there have been several incidents of racist and white nationalist propaganda being shared in our community, and today I have learned of another incident in my neighborhood.

These messages are sometimes opaque and not easily recognizable. They may otherwise seem harmless, but they will not go unnoticed by my neighbors, who I was elected to represent, or by me. Our community is diverse, open, and welcoming, and this rhetoric is not and will not be tolerated. Simply put: there is no place for hate here in Providence.

I won’t share the image and I won’t say where it was, but I will say as soon as it was brought to my attention, my colleagues in government reacted swiftly to remove this vile message from our community. I will never stand in the way of free speech, but I will gladly stand up and speak out against hate speech, even when it’s not always recognizable.

To those who would share this vitriolic message in our community, I pray for you. I pray that during this special holiday season, which is meant to be filled with family, love, and brotherhood, that your hatred melts away, and that acceptance and love for your neighbors fill that part of your hearts.

— Nirva R. LaFortune, Councilwoman – Ward Three

 

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