Mayor Florea

I have been a citizen and business owner in Leavenworth for 11 years now, and came here every summer as a child growing up, with my family owning property near the Ponderosa. In this time I have never seen, heard, or witnessed any form of racism from the Leavenworth community. Nor have I ever heard of any complaints of our town being racist towards our guests or our community members. Now, just because I haven't heard about it doesn't mean it doesn't exist, I know that, but this is not something that is systemic in our community. I don't know what circles you run in, but no one I know delves in this kind of behavior. What I have witnessed is a town that welcomes people from all backgrounds, races, and faiths with open arms, treating them as guests and showing appreciation for their patronage to our small town year after year. 


So, when I read your community letter dated 5/28/20, I nearly fell out of my chair. Then my surprise turned to anger. When I read what you wrote in the first sentence of the second paragraph, in which I quote " In truth, this is a disease in which all of us who are white are carriers", I couldn't believe that you actually put that down on paper, directed to the community that you supposedly lead. You are branding a vast majority of your community as racists. Actually, you have branded all of those who have white skin as "carriers of a disease", the disease of racism. You just branded an entire race of 100's of millions, if not billions of people as "carriers of the disease" of racism, all on the simple fact that they have white skin. You do realize that what you just did was in fact a form of racism. Saying that a person, or persons, are this or that because of the color of their skin is racist! And again, you did write in your letter that all those who are white carry the disease of racism inside of them. Nobody, and I mean nobody, whether white, black, or brown, has a choice of what color skin they were born with! You should know that everyone should be viewed by the content of their character, who they are as people, and how they treat others, not solely by the color of their skin. You sir just made racial slurs towards all that are white. You sir just made racial slurs towards all the white members of the community you are supposed to be leading and supporting. And yes, you sir just made racial slurs towards all our visitors from around the globe who just happen to have white skin......


Now, I didn't vote for you, I don't agree with your political views, and I sure don't agree with how you have led this town since being elected. But you were just that, elected. So, as an American who takes pride in our Constitution, I accepted the fact that the majority voted you in, and while disagreeing with just about everything you represent, I was still of the mindset of working with those who strive to make this town the best it could possibly be. For example, the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. I disagree with how this is being handled but am willing to do whatever it takes to get us up and going again. We cannot survive as a town or individually staying closed down. We will slowly disappear if this continues. But now, on top of shutting down our economy, and forcing many to lose their livelihoods, you now have branded us as being a bunch of racists, all on the fact that we have white skin, not by our actions or the content of our characters, only because we are white. You don't know me. You don't know anything about my life or what kind of person I am, but you branded me a racist anyways. It may surprise you that I am the lesser half of a Bi-racial marriage, and happily married for 13 years. But no, that doesn't really mean a damn thing now does it. Using your mindset I am a closet racist, who secretly must despise my wife because she has brown skin, and I have white skin.....I don't really know how I am going to explain this to her...... maybe you can come and explain all of this to her in person! Maybe you can explain to her that she is really not by best friend, not my true love, not my partner in life. That our relationship is all a ruse, and in fact I must truly despise her, think of her as a lessor/inferior sub human next to me, the evil white man. I wouldn't expect that conversation to go very well for you sir! 


In light of your actions, and non-actions while presiding as the Mayor of Leavenworth, I really do think that it would be appropriate for you to make a public apology to our community followed by a resignation of the office you currently hold. You cannot apologize your way out of this, the damage is done, and you cannot turn back the clock! There is no way in my mind, and I hope others, that you can lead this community going forward when you obviously hate us, because we all hate racists, right? And how can you effectively run this town as Mayor, if you don't have the best intentions to make this town the best it can be for all who live and visit here? And how can I, or anyone else who you have slandered, and disrespected by your words and actions ever feel comfortable with having you as our community leader, knowing how you truly feel about the vast majority of us? The answer is, we cannot!

So, in closing, I ask you again sir to make a public apology to the community, and then step down as Mayor.

Disappointed, sad, and outraged citizen of Leavenworth,

Thomas Buckner



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