Everett is among the most racially and socially mixed smaller cities in the United States, if not the world. Racism is present here but for the most part it is latent and unseen, except when we look more closely at employment and income statistics.
If you are black or brown, you have grown up with the racism and the poverty and ignorance that spawns from it as a result.
You earn less. You suffer more because of the color of your skin.
It is unbelievable but true – that the color of one’s skin can cause all kinds of strife among white people.
The recent national trauma about race is about letting the Genie out of the magic lamp.
Once the Genie is out of the lamp, it cannot be put back inside.
This is how life in our democracy works.
Black or white, yellow or brown, English speaking or otherwise, our society is now convulsed into protest and discussion about racism and what to do about it.
This a positive not a negative.
This shows the strength of our democracy, not its weakness. Here in our city, there is the strong feeling that most people
just want to get along, to live their lives, and not to be bothered. We aren’t beating one another here.
We aren’t killing one another.
For better or worse we live together in a fairly changed but altogether civil society.
We won’t anytime soon be cutting back our police department.
Police are always being trained here to deal with the exigencies of the modern world.
We have gun violence, but it isn’t aimed entirely at blacks, browns, yellows or whites.
Police restrain themselves here unless force is necessary – and force is sometimes the only antidote for a situation sure to get out of hand.
Mind you, force isn’t the solution. It is the band aid that stops bigger bleeds.
The city government has been guilty of hiring mostly white people for generations. As the city has changed, hiring practices have not changed with it.
How the city hires these days is almost criminal and racist at the same time.
This needs to be changed immediately – and if the mayor can’t, then we need a new mayor who will.
The discussion about race must take place here.
We all must come to understand how racism is a disease.
It must be erased.
How to do this?
No one knows.
Not even a wise man can show us the way.