RJC Town Hall – 1/20/20
As a gay person of color, growing up in a rural area since as long as I can remember, racism has always been present and experienced. For a person of color racism is something that is always introduced at a young age.
For me, it was being told, by young classmates to go back to where I come from, or that I’m not an American, or even being called a chink. Today in Macomb, I still hear from people, about how privilege doesn’t exist because “white people have it hard too.” I experience racism when I am at work, on the phone with a representative with an accent, from a phone company, and I hear a customer mutter, “I hate foreign people,” or, “they need to speak English.” I’ve even heard someone call a representative a slur, acting as if they said nothing wrong.
Racism has been ingrained into our community, to the point where people don’t think their racist actions are indeed racist, and without a change in how we perceive and react to it, it’s not going to go away. The leaders of our community need to take accountability of the racism within this town, and with that action, make Macomb a place where people of color feel welcome.