Racism is a problem
Have you been wondering what all the fuss around the statue was about? Have you found yourself saying, “What’s the big deal?” You may have heard people say things like “protect our history” and “heritage not hate,” while carrying Confederate flags around the courthouse. And you may have thought, “oh well, they have freedom of speech after all.” Well, now take a look at the children of Aledo. Look at the message we have sent them: It is okay to set monetary value on the people of color in our community. It is okay joke about slavery and hold mock slave auctions.
I will not go so far to say that these children were explicitly taught this sort of vitriol; though, I’m sure many were. But if it was not explicitly taught, then, it was certainly implicit.
The lesson the young people of Parker County have learned is clear: People of color are inferior to white people, and black people are not welcome here. And no, this is not an isolated incident. No, this is not kids making a stupid mistake. This incident represents a microcosm of our culture. How long has it been since a student at Weatherford ISD hung a noose from the stairs? How long has it been since hoards of white supremacists poured on to the courthouse grounds in a 1960s style anti-civil rights protest? Not long enough.
We can keep ignoring the problem if we want. We can turn our eyes and pretend it isn’t real. We can even lie if we want, to ourselves, to each other, to our children. But none of that will change the situation in our community. Whether we admit it or not, racism is a problem in Parker County.