2002-03-02 Holland Sentinel Racism is very real in W. Michigan

Racism is very real in W. Michigan
Holland Sentinel

To the Editor:

It’s amazing to me that people, particularly white people, continue to say that racism is not an issue in the area. I have heard over and over again that all I have to do is work harder, not be on drugs and I have just as much chance as whites to succeed in our society.

I do work hard, I’m not on drugs and I still don’t have the same opportunities as many of the whites in this community. My sons and daughter are still called niggers, and acts of racism still happen to me on a daily basis. I do believe that things are better. But to believe that racism does not exist is denying the fact that there was a cross burned on my front yard and more recently in Allegan. Thanks be to God my family and I have succeeded in this area, but not without some pain and sacrifice. Mike Lozon (Sentinel, Tuesday) is one of many people in the area who continue to tell me that the things I go through are not real or valid.

Just ask yourself these questions. Would you want to be treated as a black man in this country? Do you really believe that people of color have the same chance under the same conditions as whites? It is easier to see racism when it is obvious. Hate groups and the like are not the bigger part of the problem. Its people who are racist and don’t know or believe that they are, is the bigger problem. There are a lot of “good people” who are racist.

We have come a way and have made some strides but it is not enough. There should be justice for all. How many racial slurs have you heard today? Have you listened to a person of color? There is another reality that many whites in America and West Michigan may never understand.