To the Editor:
I am writing to re-raise an issue that I recognize is not as much a priority given the importance of securing everyone’s health. I was motivated by a message to the community from Superintendent Tom Moore himself, earlier this year, that racial inequality must be addressed wherever it is found.
To me and my very white family, the names of our two high school sports teams remain an embarrassment and a blot on our diverse community. Isn’t it time to retire the “Warriors” and “Chiefs” and other derogatory war-like references to Native Americans? I know there is a large, outspoken segment of our community that has fought all attempts to change these names, and that they cite the support of a Native American as evidence of those names being proud reminders of that culture. I’m also aware of how this was previously addressed. The result was a compromise that left the names intact.
I’ve been told the Board needs to hear from more than one voice to consider action again. I’ll take that as a challenge to gather more voices for the names of our high school teams to be reconsidered in the months to come.
My bottom line: If the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians can take another look at changing their names, should we not, also?
I respect that there are more pressing priorities; this is indeed a back burner issue for the Board. But to me, it is never too late to do the right thing.
To the Editor:
As a Town Councilor and endorsed Republican candidate for Congress in Connecticut’s First District, I was proud to vote in favor of a resolution that declared racism a public health crisis in West Hartford.
I’ve reflected on racism and discrimination beyond the borders of our town and how I’ve experienced similar issues in my life and career. I’ve seen the ugliness of racism and discrimination. As a woman and member of the LGBTQ community, I’ve personally been a victim of discrimination. I’ve been rejected for employment and promotions. I’ve been called disgusting names and while I am certainly not comparing my experience with racism, I know how important it is to walk a mile in another’s shoes.
While this country has come a long way, we still have far to go. We’ve had sad chapters in our nation’s history, but know these traits are not specifically American. Fortunately, we’re a land of freedom, constantly reinvented, continuing to be a generous nation in the world.
I see hope and promise in the future with integrated neighborhoods. Gay marriage is legalized. There’s more gender equality with positions of leadership. It’s all encouraging and I look forward to the day when we truly celebrate one race, the human race.
Let’s set aside politics and do what’s right. Trust those who lived through racism and discrimination to lead us in peaceful transformation while maintaining freedoms, liberties and values that are foundations of our American heritage.
Lead by example. We can change the world!