Letter to the Editor

Our wake-up call

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Randy, it was good to see your response in the paper on Jan. 29 with regards to all of the negative attention that has been brought on our community. Some I agree with and some, not so much. But thatís human nature. I am not sending you this letter to criticize you in any way or respond to anything you wrote. This is simply my thoughts on things from my perspective after living in this community for 16 years.

I generally try not to comment on anything on Facebook with regards to race and racism and/or discrimination. But, after reading many different articles referring to the incident at our school during a recent sporting event, I am troubled by the way that the adults/parents of these kids are reacting to this whole situation. I read through lengthy Facebook rants from many different people commenting on the different news story links and was really surprised by the childish fighting and name calling over who's right or wrong, acting no different than spoiled children not getting their way. Defending their kidís actions, while degrading those who are against their posted statements.

I've seen kids as well as parents saying and doing things at various school events that are an embarrassment to our school and this community. Vulgar language, name calling, and discriminatory comments to other teams and fans, as well as our very own players, staff and fans. All of this taking place in front of our younger generation. Where do people think that our young kids learn this from. These parents are bad examples of our community and their kids are a reflection of them. What is the point of taking disciplinary action against the student, when this action is not supported by the parents. If even half of the things that have been said and done in school and at school events were to be shared via social media, by many many parents and kids that have seen these things happen, this community would be completely shocked. But unfortunately, none of these situations will ever be made known or heard of, whether it is out of fear or its just simply covered up by the school or community.
 People in this town are all hurt that this community is being called racist. It is hurtful to be given that label. Unfortunately, racism is here, and all over the world. If you think it is not here, take a look around you. Itís not just a race or racism situation or the color of oneís skin that is a huge problem in this community. There are all sorts of racism issues in this community. Just spend time walking around the grocery store or the mall and watch how people avoid going down isles, or into stores because of people they see in the isle or store. This form of racism/discrimination is not just what country they are from, it is also because of how they look, their life style choices, financial status in the community, which part of town they live in, and so on. What if the city were to put rental houses and apartments on every block throughout the entire city. And yes, that would include the ďwestĒ part of town. Do you think that there would not be any forms of racism or discrimination of any type from any of the neighbors?
 This is not just an issue here in this community, this is nationwide and has been going on for hundreds of years, and will continue way past my time and past the lifetime of my kidís and grandkidís.
 One thing for sure, that now that this current situation has been brought to light, and shared with the world, no matter if these are true or false statements or news stories, from this day forward, parents and students will need to be very watchful of what they say and how they act. Whether at a school event or just even around the community. This situation has just brought negative attention to our community. People will be watching, and waiting, for something like this to happen again. One thing for sure, you can almost guarantee that cellphones and video cams will be recording non-stop at every home game and events here. Once that information hits social media it is pretty hard to make video evidence go away.
 It is unfortunate, but most likely true, that we all have some form of racism or discriminatory thoughts in us, but this one situation should not be a black mark against our community. This should be a major eye opener to how we, the community, and ourselves, are acting, thinking, and interacting with those who reside in our community, but also with those who are passing through.
This is our wake-up call to improve and be a better community.

ó Stacey Nerness, Spencer