BELLPORT

South Country school board candidate target of racial slur

Posted

A disturbing flyer was left in South Country school board candidate Cameron Trent’s mailbox on Mother’s Day, blacking out Trent’s face, adding “No [racial slur] run.”  

The school board election is set for May 18: Trent, who is Black, is a candidate for a fourth term. 

Trent explained that a family member found the flyer in the mailbox. 

“My family gets together outside at our aunt’s house on Mother’s Day,” Trent said. “My grandmother had prepared pancakes and I was getting ready to leave and my uncle’s girlfriend was leaving something in the mailbox for her son who was coming later and found it. She brought the flyer to me and I looked at it and was lost for words.”

Cameron said he kept mum to his family, not wanting to upset the Mother’s Day celebration. He went to the Fifth Precinct next day, made the report to a detective and posted a Facebook comment about the incident.  

“I’ve never gotten anything in my mailbox before,” he said. “But there have been a lot of racial slurs thrown my way, people have said demeaning things, but not race-based until now. There are some platforms I don’t have access to but I started to see the racial comments this year.”

Cameron, 23, is a 2015 Bellport High School graduate who currently works in an assisted living facility. When asked what initiatives he was proud of, he mentioned the Equity Committee he started.

"It looked to make sure all students are comfortable in the building and have a sense of dignity,” he said. “Also safety, there are a lot of initiatives we’ve taken, the police has access to our cameras, the district office has a direct line to the precinct, there are cameras on the buses." 

Community activist and former South Country Board of Education vice president Regina Hunt issued this statement: “I am appalled and beyond disgusted by the racism portrayed in a Board of Education School Board Race!! South Country School District should be proud to have Cameron Trent who fights for ALL!! The District Administration needs to make a statement denouncing this blatant act of racism!” 

Legis. Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue), who had issued a statement on his Facebook page condemning the flyer, told the Advance, “I heard about it yesterday (Wednesday, May 12) and called him to give him my support and told him that what happened is unacceptable and can’t be tolerated. And it has to be said loud and clear that this is not acceptable. It’s unbelievable that people still think it’s okay to say these things. Cameron is running to do good things for the community and has done good things. He, his family and no one of color or anyone should have to go through this. It almost leaves me speechless. I’m sure our law enforcement will find out who this is, because at the end of the day, it’s a hate crime. This just goes beyond being stupid.”

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment