Letter to the Editor

Storm Lake Times opinion piece

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The opinion piece published in the Storm Lake Times a few weeks ago was without a doubt a fiction. A Pulitzer Prize-winning paper should be embarrassed for publishing it. That the fiction went viral, and our high school students received the blame for something that never happened, is also shameful. The real question is why were so many people who live in Spencer so ready to believe this particular fiction?

Storm Lake has been the butt of racist jokes in Spencer for as long as I can remember. How many businesses have been passed over because "We don't want to turn into another Storm Lake"? Growing up I received countless warnings about getting mugged or stabbed or otherwise becoming a victim of crime if I go to Storm Lake. Warnings that were based solely on Storm Lake's racial make up and no actual crime statistics. It's so easy to believe our high school was openly racist to Storm Lake because our community has been openly racist to Storm Lake for far too long. As long as the adults in this community keep blaming Obama or Trump, or worse, casually accepting it with statements like "I'm sure there's racism everywhere" our kids will continue to pay the price. It's time to look in the mirror and address the wart of racism that's on the face of Spencer.

Brent Berends, Spencer