Human Relations Commission hosts town hall in York


The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission held a “No Hate in Our State” town hall in York.

“We can hear from the community about the racial tensions that are growing, as we can see from the KKK fliers and other incidents like the Grandview Golf Course, as well as the murder that took place at the Red Rose restaurant this summer,” said Tameka Hatcher, the education outreach coordinator for the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

Those are just a few of the incidents sparking the discussion Wednesday.

“I think the best way to start to deal with the problems is to have an open forum,” said Jeanne Buckingham, who has lived in York most of her life and is a member of the city’s human relations commission.

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission held its first of three town halls at the Crispus Attucks Center.

State, city and community leaders are frustrated discrimination won’t die. 

“The same thing that was going on in the 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s, and here we are 2018 and the same old struggle is still here,” said Mabusha Cooper, the president of the York County Advisory Council to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. 

Executive director Chad Dion Lassiter says the commission gets calls about hatred, and people are scared. 

“It’s not change that happens just in the moment,” said Lassiter. “It’s change that happens over a period of time. York didn’t become this way overnight. It happened from a historical standpoint.”

Lassiter says the goal of the town halls is to listen, learn, support and find fixes. 

“All of you can look internally and see where your part is,” said Sandra Thompson of the York NAACP.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do in York, and thank you for coming out to help us,” York Mayor Michael Helfrich said.

The commission’s next town halls are in West Manchester and Hellam townships.

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