This letter is paid content. At the mayoral candidate forum the candidates were asked, “Is there systemic racism in Red Wing?” Mayor Dowse agreed. Mike Wilson’s response was, “There is only if you want there to be.” I am confused because I don’t think anyone “wants” racism to exist. His statement seems uncomfortably close to the sentiment that people need to be colorblind or that people are exaggerating what goes on.
I am a member of the Human Rights Commission (although I DO NOT SPEAK for the commission). There are some People of Color on our commission and others who have come for public comment, a student as well as adults, who have felt that they are treated differently because of their skin color.
My own brown skinned 15-year-old daughter is afraid to get her license and drive for fear of being pulled over by the police. She sees the news; she isn’t choosing to be afraid or making something out of nothing.
As a White woman, this is not MY story, but it is the story of some People of Color. Mayor Dowse, I appreciate your commitment to looking for ways to make sure ALL people in Red Wing feel welcome. You have my vote.
Red Wing, Minn.