For me, my grandpa that was a Chief Master Sergeant in the Air Force was terribly racist. The first time I recall having race pointed out was when we went to eat and the woman waiting on our table was black. My grandpa asked for another server and I did not understand why. I peppered him with questions because I thought she was so nice and did not understand why she could not help us.
That was the first time I heard the n-word.
My Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Brister, was a black woman. She taught me about coloring inside the lines. I have taught that to my kids and remember Ms. Brister so fondly. The coloring page was of a police officer, and she put the gold star on his shirt. I remember beaming with pride. I remember lots of talk about Ms. Brister and that people just did not seem to like her but did not seem to have any good reason for it. It never made any sense to me but now as an adult, I think I know why and it breaks my heart. Oh how I loved her.
My piano teacher was black. I sadly do not remember her name. We did not go to her house for lessons for long. My dad made my mom find us another teacher. I remember thinking it was because I complained that she made me keep my wrists up while playing piano. I don’t think that was the reason now.
Thomas T.Denver, Colorado
Anytime there is a movement to combat injustice, we find that injustice is deeper and broader than just the immediate issue at hand. And when it comes to calls for justice in specific situations, there are always connections and overlaps. Perhaps this is because we discover that many of the deeper causes are the same. The intersection of issues here is worth exploring.
I’ll be honest. I don’t want people, some of whom are at least verbally aggressive (but sometimes physically), all over the sidewalks of downtown. But, somehow we have got to make the turn to real, systemic reform rather than simply new ordinances that attempt to just sweep the problem away. Because “those people” are NOT the actual problem. The systems that put them in that position, and that fail to offer legitimate, adequate alternatives are the problem.
Some will say, but there are alternatives, many of these people just won’t take them! To which I say, then the alternatives aren’t working; we need to try harder.
Ultimately, we have got to be willing to face root causes. And those of us with privilege and power have got to start facing our complicity in perpetuating systems that are harmful to others. The trouble is that we like those systems, because they benefit us.
Russ W.Colorado Springs, Colorado
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