Amherst Life Blog

Welcome to the Amherst Life Blog! Here we will be posting information on activities, events, arts, community concerns, local business, and a variety of other topics related to life in Amherst, Massachusetts. If you are new to the area and looking for housing, please check out our other blog too ------------>> Amherst Housing Blog ::.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Words Can Trigger Change: Reader's Comments on Racism

We'd like to thank one of our reader's for the following comment:

"I am glad to see that SOMEONE is putting this incident into perspective, citing all the reasons why self-defense is normal, particularly in an environment such as this one. Racism is rampant on campus(es) and it is rampant in the community at large--regularly and frequently practiced not only by "hicks" but by so-called "educated" professionals--doctors (especially), proprietors, landlords/"ladies" (particularly), "human" service agencies and on and on. In fact, I wonder sometimes if some of these very same people aren't active members of the KKK chapter you refer to. There is a goulash of bigotry, with the some of the same bigots showing up in different capacities (sometimes where there is a direct conflict of interest. This is why the problem of racism is never really addressed in earnest in the Pioneer? Valley, despite the false perpetuation of the area as, per capita, one of the most progressive, intellectual, intelligent enclave of thinking and community-minded individuals. Hah!

Hampshire county is the only place where I have been called a nigger to my face (twice); it is the only place where I had a doctor repeatedly use a perjorative term designed to defend during a visit and laughed with delight when I let on that I was onto what he was doing? it is the only place where I have been repeatedly attacked, trounced and trashed, i.e. libel, 5th degree verbal assault by an MD, verbal assault by two officers on two different occasions (with other bigots "hungry for my head" as well in attendance as well). For all their progressive IDEAS and declarations, residents of the Valley are remarkably silent when it comes to really championing civil rights or human rights.

I think the arrest and charging of Mr. Vassell with the crime of self-defense the SAME public outcry and outrage that the attack involving the Jena Six in Lousiana sparked, followed by the support of THOUSANDS marching for all over the country. I don't see or hear anything from Al Sharpton. THE INSANITY IN THIS VALLEY HAS GOT TO STOP. People here have got to stop letting those who perpetuate racism and racist acts blow their own horn about how progressive, tolerant and educated (and all the other euphemisms used) while the casualties keep piling up.Maybe the "sleeping giants" at the NAACP can be roused to action. And what action or involvement has the Human Rights Commission taken to date? Are they just puppets and handmaidens of the ones crowing about how "tolerant" they are? Dr. Martin Luther King--who daughters atteneded college in this area-- would backflip in his grave if he knew how lazy and lackadaisical the "talented tenth" are in this bastion of education--as would Dr. DuBois. MAKE MORE NOISE!!! The spotlight on civil and human rights crimes is regularly shone on every other place--Darfur, Kosovo, So Africa, Holyoke, Springfield--EXCEPT HERE."

Let's keep this dialogue going. NAACP. Human Rights Comission, and other organizations should be contacted and activated. They will be more inclined to do so if there is more public outcry and more written from the perspective of Mr. Jason Vassell. Public gatherings are powerful tools and words can be as well. Keep the pressure on!