* Daily Herald…
Several council members and public speakers in Naperville rose in defense of their hometown Tuesday after state Rep. Anne Stava-Murray described Naperville as a city with a “history of white supremacist policies.”
Council member Kevin Coyne called for Stava-Murray to step down from her seat representing the 81st District, which includes parts of Naperville, saying she “has a fundamental misunderstanding of both the Naperville community and what it means to represent a constituency.” […]
These public statements came more than a month after Stava-Murray, a 32-year-old Democrat, responded to a woman’s post on Facebook with a message that said she is working to change what she sees as the city’s “history of white supremacist policies.”
She later pointed to what she calls racial profiling during traffic stops, questionable police hiring, discrimination in housing and home showings, largely white teacher populations, high rates of black student suspensions and low rates of black student enrollment in advanced placement courses as evidence of “white ignorance” in Naperville policies.
Stava-Murray said she has no plans to step down after what she described as Coyne’s attempt to cause further division by revisiting her comments. She said he “has no genuine intention” behind “his continued escalation of the situation.”
* Naperville Sun…
City Councilman Benny White, the first African-American resident elected to the Naperville council, also rebuked Stava-Murray’s comments. […]
“As a parent of black children, when my kids became of age, like many other black parents, we actually had to sit down with our kids and tell them what to do and what not to do if they’re stopped by the police,” White said. “It’s just a different perspective that many of us probably just don’t get or quite understand.
“I have a story and my wife has a story and sadly our kids have a story since moving here,” White said. “Our kids both felt the sting of racism in schools in Naperville.” […]
“To be clear, I do not believe Naperville is a community with white supremacist policies,” White said. “However, that does not mean Naperville is immune to the ills and bias of discrimination. To believe so would be a fallacy.”
Elected officials need to understand their voices are louder than most, and that their words matter, White said.