Beacon prides itself on being open. A recent example is this post from City Council Member Jodi McCredo:
“I stand with the people of New Zealand and with Muslims around the world. Words lead to actions. Hate needs to be called out and silenced. Compassion and understanding need room to grow.”
Most of us would agree with Jodi about hate. And yet when we use the word anti-development, aren’t we just finding a way to justify our fear of, and potentially our hatred for, new people? Development is about more than buildings: it is about who will want to live in those buildings.
Outside the council meetings, in quiet conversations in person and online, people talk about whether new people “will fit in.” What is that about, except fear of the unknown?
In my experience, the new people moving here are terrific. I have had a chance, as an example, to meet quite a few tenants new to Beacon. They are artists, state troopers, ministers, accountants. They are young couples. Baby boomers. Roommates. Most of them are people who Beaconites who rail against development would like to meet.
When we think about it, in our better selves, we know that our children benefit from meeting kids who have grown up elsewhere. We get that Main Street needs people with ideas to thrive. And all of us know that Beacon, with its 100-year-old infrastructure, is going to need a lot of us to shoulder the burden of fixing what we can and replacing what we can’t.
The sign that read “no hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here” is not true. The strongest anti-development positions are held by people who welcome others as tourists but not as residents. There are those who despise the idea of a wall at the Mexican border, and yet would gladly have a virtual wall around Beacon that keeps people out by restricting their opportunities to find a place to live and a place where all of us can grow.
Will Hough, BeaconThe Current is a nonprofit supported by its readers and provided free to the community. Please consider a tax-deductible contribution of $5 per month.