‘Stay in Mexico’ leaves community reeling

Eliza Farr, 12 and a Saline middle school student stands with her homemade sign along with her mother Lorissa Farr during a march against racism and bigotry that happened up and down on Michigan Avenue in downtown Saline, Michigan, on February 5.

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Eliza Farr, 12 and a Saline middle school student stands with her homemade sign along with her mother Lorissa Farr during a march against racism and bigotry that happened up and down on Michigan Avenue in downtown Saline, Michigan, on February 5.

DETROIT, Mich. — High school students, gorilla emojis and the N-word launched a local outcry in Saline, Michigan, last week.

Then a parent stood up at a community meeting to recount times his now-adult son was called “taco” and “enchilada” at school, leaving him in tears.

“Then why didn’t you stay in Mexico?” responded another man.

Now, the small but burgeoning city south of Ann Arbor is making national headlines next to the word “racist.”

For residents and business owners like Ron Schofield, 61, the two recent incidents — one reported by Saline Area Schools and one on full display during a school meeting — are both a disturbing revelation and a symptom of underlying racism nationwide.

Speaking a few hours before nearly 250 anti-racism marchers took to the street Wednesday, Schofield, co-owner of the Salt Springs Brewery on the city’s main drag, said Saline has been a tight-knit community with the type of people that take care of each other.

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