LETTER: Speak up against racism

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It was daunting to read in Wednesday’s paper that Minnesota had been dropped from a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 survey that could provide valuable information about the spread of the disease. The reason given was that CDC surveyors of color had been intimidated or threatened by Minnesota residents. That sad news, combined with a barrage of racist calls, the most serious one a terrible racist threat directed at a member of the group standing for racial equality in Park Rapids, makes me wonder “What’s the matter with Minnesota?”

I have run into racists in many places, both in the U.S. and abroad, and in each place the anti-racists outnumber them, as I’m sure they do here. The difference here seems to be that here racists are proud of their behavior, a first for me and for my grandchildren who witnessed the racist attacks on peaceful people standing for racial equality.

We all said the Pledge of Allegiance each day in school – “with liberty and justice for all” – but somehow, right now in Minnesota, some Americans have forgotten the American Creed and their patriotic duty to ensure equal treatment for all.

How can they get away with it? I think part of the answer lies with the rest of us. When such awful things are happening, why are most people silent? As a taxpayer, I wonder where are the elected officials? As a committed Christian, I wonder where are the religious leaders? As an engaged community member, where are the organizations, groups and club members? I don’t dismiss national movements, but Hubbard County racism is a Hubbard County problem and demands a local response. The anti-racists need to speak up.

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