Letter to the editor by Cayuga County legislator prompts calls for resignation

A member of the Cayuga County Legislature is being called on to resign after a letter to the editor drew harsh criticism.

Andrew Dennison, who represents the 2nd District in Cayuga County, authored a letter to the editor, which was published by the Auburn Citizen.

“I’m sure after this letter I’ll be called a racist but that’s fine because I know I’m not. Wake up people if you think the so-called peaceful protests are just that because they’re not. Do black lives really matter when young black children are being killed by other black people who are supposedly peacefully protesting police brutality,” Dennison began.

The Auburn/Cayuga Branch of the NAACP issued a strong statement calling for Dennison to resign immediately, according to Finger Lakes News Radio.

Assemblyman Gary Finch, who represents Cayuga County in Albany shared his disappointment with the letter.

“At a time when leaders at all levels of government should be working hard to bring people together, I’m deeply disappointed that County Legislator Andrew Dennison is using his platform to try to divide us,” Finch said in a response letter to the editor. “His letter was riddled with casual stereotypes and serious ignorance.”

“In Auburn, protests for racial justice and equality have been peaceful, insightful and necessary. They’ve been supported by law enforcement officials who have worked hard to build trust and promote transparency. That Dennison seems more concerned with protecting Confederate statues hundreds of miles away than promoting unity, understanding and progress in his own backyard is sad. His assertion that racism is a “two-way street” is gross. He seems eager to celebrate the worst parts of our past. He’s failing to embrace the big-hearted, optimistic future so many people in Auburn are banding together to build,” Finch added in the letter.

So far, Dennison has not indicated that he will resign from his post.