RESPONCE TO ERIKA SMITH-RACE RELATIONS

April 16, 2011

You use the word “diversity” when referring to sections of the city that have black to white ratios living in one area.  You also used the words “segregation”, and “integration” in some of your text.  These latter two words right away make the hair stand up on my back, because to me they are fighting words or “hate” words when it comes to discussing race……..  Not long ago I moved into an “over 55” apartment complex where the ratio of whites to blacks is about even.  So far my experiences with both people s have been just fine.  Most of us here are well over the minimum age and every one is cordial, we help each other out and I haven’t seen any problems, but I know that in regular neighborhoods (subdivisions, etc.) that there are problems…….BUT why is it you think that all sections of the city should be diversified (integrated).  There are some people, black, white, red, yellow, brown who like to live with their own race in their own part of town.  That’s why in some cities there are sections called “China Town”, etc.  They like to live, practice their religion and celebrate their customs by themselves.  I see no reason this way of living is bad, but on the other hand, I think people should be able to live in whatever part of the city or country they chose.  The way I see it you think that if all parts of Indianapolis were “integrated” we would have better race relations.  Maybe……Maybe not………….I think there is too much “diversity” (differences in personalities, attitudes, religions, suppressed anger and hate, etc.) within peoples of each race to make it work as well as you think.  Whites and blacks have been struggling with and against each other since the first black was taken as a slave hundreds of years ago (even long before) and I believe it will remain that way until after the world becomes non-racial from races intermarrying.  Our great-grandchildren will probably not live long enough to see this happen, but I believe it will happen one day if we don’t kill each other off with these “wars” around the world.  Minding ones own business is usually a good thing.

I am an 80-year-old white man who has lived in both Marion and Hamilton counties since 1954 and I have seen many, many changes in this city over time.  Not all were good.  “Progress” can be just as bad for the population as it can be good.  Am I a racist or bigot??  YES I am, to some extent, and I believe EVERYONE IS to some extent.  Take Mr. Mark Russell who said in your column:  “Bigotry is bigotry, whoever is perpetrating it.” Very pro-found.  But even he, way down deep somewhere, is a racist.  Let’s take the Coby Briant case.  He is accused of making an ethnic slur to a referee during a game.  Coby was angry and frustrated and he said something to the ref. that he probably never would have under ordinary circumstances.  But, if that ref. really was a “homosexual”, Coby only expressed the truth and used his right to freedom of speech as I am doing here and you did in your column.  True, sports people are supposed to be above and beyond and role models (many are not).  They have very tense moments like anyone else and some times slip up.  They also are human.  The punishment was too harsh.

Ever since the first two different pre-human bodies walking upright on two legs met in the wilderness of (I assume) Africa, there has been racism and bigotry.  Every war that has taken place on this earth since the “Dawn of Man” was fought over race and religion up to the present time.  How can anyone expect to change it in one or two centuries or more??  They can’t.  We are going to have to find a peaceable way to live with it.

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About wverrill

My nick name is Larry. I am from Saco, Me. I am 85 years old and my next birthday is July 30. Politically I am an independent. I graduated high school and had approx. two years at Purdue U. in Indiana. I currently live in Brownsberg, IN.
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