January 2021

Columbus Urban League Jan. 11 statement on racist threats in Columbus

Yesterday, the owners of Bake Me Happy felt compelled to close their bakery due to racist threats of violence against their business. The following is a statement from Stephanie Hightower, President & CEO of the Columbus Urban League:

“It is incomprehensible that respected entrepreneurs and community activists felt it necessary to close their beloved business because of threats from an extremist racist demagogue. What’s just as unbelievable is that other Black business owners reportedly also are receiving similar threats.

“Federal, state and local authorities should immediately and thoroughly investigate these issues, protect the intended victims and ensure that swift and sure prosecution is pursued against these criminal acts. Do not delay. As we witnessed during the debacle in our nation’s capital last week, we should never underestimate the capacity for violence by those who appear to be the 2021 version of a lynch mob.

“To my Black and Brown colleagues and friends, don’t relent. You are not alone. Count on your Columbus Urban League and others to stand with you and face down bigotry in all forms and at all times.

“And, to those who persecute our people because of their race, we should not retaliate. But be clear. We also will not hesitate nor vacillate. We will demand justice and protect our civil rights.”

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