Sunday, March 18, 2007

Playing the Racism Card

The Dallas Morning News ran an article on Friday, March 16, 2007 by Stephanie Sandoval, "Grocer rumor raises tension." The story said there was a rumor that a Carnival grocery store might be built at the corner of Valley View and Josey. Someone was campaigning to stop Minyard from building it because he thought is was a low-scale store and the city of Farmers Branch should have a higher scale grocery store at that location.

That's fair. People near my neighborhood went up in arms trying to stop a Walmart from being built near us. However, someone supposedly from the League of United Latin American Citizens called the person opposing the store prejudiced. The quote in the paper said, "I am so sick my stomach is upset." That sounds pretty upset!

It is very wrong to play the racism card in political or social discussions. Calling the other person names is trying to silence the discussion. It is wrong. It is unfair. The Latin American organization might dislike Tim Scott for reasons beyond his opposing the grocery store, but the discussion about the grocery store should be civil.

When I was a school teacher, I found students who enjoyed disrupting education occasionally complain about racism. When grownups use racism to avoid honest discussions, the children pick up that use of racism to avoid responsible behavior and copy it. Racism is a serious problem, yet some kids think it is a joke because grownups throw the term around too freely.

If Hispanics feel they don't get the respect they deserve, there are better ways to get that respect than name calling.


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