Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Racism in Colorado Springs

Last Sunday our local newspaper ran an editorial ( I am also the guangping making comments ) on Amendment 46 on the ballot that would get rid of the equal opportunity laws that have been in place for over 30 years. They are not perfect, and there has been the tendency to hire and promote people to fill an ethnic quota rather than if they're capable for the job. They have also provided educational and job opportunities for people who would not ordinarily have been considered, because of white people's tendencies to only consider other white people.

The writer was cute and flipped the argument around, calling our present policies as racist and Amendment 46 would then create true equality, throwing 50 years of civil rights struggles out the window. He also used an example of freeing up scholarships, and if the Aryan Nation wanted to give out some to white folk only, they would then be free to do so. The writer is obviously a white guy, and probably a closet white supremest.

Having grown up on the Left Coast, and worked 21 years with the public where I had to be politically correct, I thought that things like racism was pretty much a thing of the past. And then I moved to Colorado Springs...

Yesterday afternoon I watched a trial at teen court, where teens are the prosecutors, defense, and jurors trying cases before a real judge and giving sentences along provided guidelines. A 16 year old girl who was half-black had transferred to Coronado High School, and had been having a hard time making friends. She was constantly taunted, called sand-nigger, whore, and other things so that she often feigned sickness rather than go to school. One day she snapped and punched a girl in the face... From my sister's grandkids, who are a mixture of white, black, and Hispanic, I hear other stories, and I have witnessed incidents here myself. I have also been called a racist by a couple of black people, which came as a shock. So, there is a lot of tension here.

Yes, with kids a lot of it is just being cruel to each other, but racial remarks should never be tolerated, and shows a failure of parenting. You would think that with all of the churches here that it would be a tolerant, forgiving paradise, but far from it. I'm sorry, but most evangelicals I've met here are ignorant and narrow minded, and I shudder to think that they are joined with other like-minded folk.

I've noticed that most homicides committed against strangers in public are done by lone, white males who are filled with rage and wanting to take it out on others. Often a product of restrictive, repressive, conservative environments; if they are teenagers, they usually use their schools or churches to enact their rage, and adults use work and public institutions. The shootings at Columbine High School here in Colorado has become iconic to many other teens, and has been copy-catted a number of times. We may have invested millions in education, but have ignored teaching emotional and spiritual growth to a stunted country.

- yiquan

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