Letter: Racial blame game is dangerousIn the wake of the horrific homicide in Red Wing, several points jump out based upon the community’s response to it.
By: Don Mayo, Red Wing, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
In the wake of the horrific homicide in Red Wing, several points jump out based upon the community’s response to it.
My friends and associates determined it would generate a barrage of racial slurs and hypocritical responses in the newspaper and other conversations. We were not disappointed in that regard.
The incident calls the question of historic responses to episodes in Red Wing involving person of color. People respond to an individual’s race rather than the crime and use race as a source of “I told you so.”
I submit the following:
• If someone white 19 years old shot and killed someone white 27 years old, would the outcry be as great?
• If someone white threw a child down a flight of stairs, would the outcry be as intense?
• Would the participants be subject to racist slurs about the entire white race and would the individual’s behavior be used as proof of the negative impact of the entire race on a community?
• Would events automatically be used to prove that whites are more prone to commit crime?
I don’t think so. I feel free to argue that point and, of course, show the hypocrisy in how unfortunately this community responds to issues regarding people of color.
If someone African-American commits a horrible act upon someone Hispanic, this is a crime of color on color. The implications are many, but none of them are about the safety of Red Wing’s mainstream community.
It seems to me that African-Americans and Hispanics should be more concerned. None of the responses have been at all sensitive to or addressing this issue. Instead, there are responses as if the threat is to mainstream citizens.
I argue that blaming Red Wing’s residents of color when anything negative happens is unsafe: You live in a community where people expect you to screw up, blame you and consider you a blight. They hypocritically dismiss the impact of any and all negative acts committed by themselves and focus entirely upon the negative acts committed by persons of color as the only episodes of criminality or bad behavior.
The pattern of near automatic ascribing of the negative impact of persons of color is very much something that should and does make Red Wing a place of feeling unsafe for its “other” populations.