Letter: Words matter, Carl

BY KATRINNA MARTIN-BORDEAUX

Whoever said once you become an elected official you can say and do what you want?

Especially at my expense.

What does it mean when an elected official is sworn in, placing their hand on a bible and professing to represent and serve the best interest of all people?

Evidently that part of the social contract is overlooked and we the people forfeit our rights to respect and dignity, upholding the first amendment rights of the individual that is elected to serve the people.

One is elected under the premise that all will be treated and represented in the best interest of the people, in the role in which he or she is elected.

Your verbiage is indicative of whether you follow the ethic of a public servant. And when you are an elected official you forfeit particular conduct, actions, and behavior that would otherwise be considered offensive and racist with intent and malice to cause harm — demeaning and defaming the likeness of almost 80% of the population you represent.

Your actions and comments increase the likelihood that hard and inequitable treatment may and will be directed at me, because your words and conduct as an elected official inflame hate.

Your first amendment doesn’t include you calling me the n-word while serving. There is more than one way to drop that bomb, so white folks please don’t argue the difference.

What Carl Paladino stated is the equivalent of hate speech. Such speech should not be protected under the first amendment. You can’t scream fire in a theater causing people to get trampled and claim your free speech is protected when there was no fire.

What you say matters. Your free speech should not violate my rights to respect and dignity, free from discrimination, especially when the institution you govern receives public dollars to educate and shape children.

Katrinna Martin-Bordeaux is the founder and chairperson of Young Black Democrats of Western New York, and the region’s highest profile Black Lives Matter advocate. She is widely credited with embarrassing the Cuomo administration to make a $44 million in the Northland Corridor after failing to include the Black community in his heralded Buffalo Billion program.

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