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Sheltered in Concord: A community protects its own

August 12. 2012 7:20PM

What would happen if a community took acts of racial intimidation seriously instead of treating them like minor pranks? It would pull together to support anyone victimized by such crimes, as Concord did last week.

Last Monday, a Somali immigrant family in Concord awoke to find these words written in marker on the front of their home: 'we cannot coexist with immigrant scum.'

Usually when this kind of thing happens, the police take a report, maybe a neighbor expresses sympathy, a story makes it into the news, and then people go on with their lives. The victimized family is left to wonder every night if some worse act awaits.

Not this time. Several hundred people - including Gov. John Lynch - rallied at the family's home to show that they stand together against such criminality.

'People are afraid because they don't know what will happen next,' said Honare Murzanzi, who founded New American Africans, which organized the rally. 'It's very important that we show people that we are there and we love each other.'

Yes, it is. And this rally showed more than love. It was an act of protection. It told the perpetrator, and any who would consider doing the same, this: 'If you mess with one member of our community, you mess with all of us.' That's the way it should be.

Social issues Crime Editorial Concord