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Re: MULTICULTURAL FESTIVAL

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  • Heather Stimmel
    Hi, Lynn=) Glad to help! This is something I, too, wondered about for a very long time. Then, when we moved here, I found out our city had been holding this
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 16, 2007
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      Hi, Lynn=)
      Glad to help! This is something I, too,
      wondered about for a very long time.
      Then, when we moved here, I found out our city had been
      holding this festival for several years, now ... well
      ... to say I was excited is an understatement- lol!!!
      The thing I thought was strange, though was ...
      this is a smaller city, where- how do I say this?-
      not too many people are very "Multiculturally-Inclined?!"
      My son and his friends have had
      some real problems with people here.
      It's sad, but one of those southern states that, in
      my opinion, has really held on to the antiquated beliefs.
      Makes me wonder, some days, why we even moved here?!
      Then, again, there were similar issues
      (but not for my son, really- mainly, for me)
      in B'more ... so, I guess you never really know?!
      I'd be interested to learn how some of the members
      here and their experiences, concerning race,
      have played out and how they handled them.
      Take care! Sincerely, Heather
    • wintyreeve@aol.com
      Dear Heather and Friends, RE: The thing I thought was strange, though was ... this is a smaller city, where- how do I say this?- not too many people are very
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 17, 2007
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        Dear Heather and Friends,
         
        RE: The thing I thought was strange, though was ...
        this is a smaller city, where- how do I say this?-
        not too many people are very "Multiculturally- Inclined? !"


        I grew up in a small town like that too.
        I remember being 6 years old and a group of
        kids on the playground called me the "n word".
        I didn't even know what it meant, never heard it before ...
        Now to think some kids, learned so young, to
        use it on other people--to be so hate filled.

        The town not only was racist against my family but
        had a history of racism--there was an incident in
        1862 where 38 Lakota, innocent people, were hung.
        President Lincoln signed the order.

        This was the homelands of the Lakota people and I am
        telling you I did not see one Native American in the
        whole entire town except on the yearly pow-wows.
        There were a few Asian immigrants--most were adopted kids.
        And maybe 5 at the most African-Americans.
        I remember 1 or 2 Latino people.
        And believe me you felt being "different"
        and were treated as less than.

        I always had the utmost admiration and
        respect that the pow-wow was held every year.
        A lot of people used it as an excuse to party ..
        But when I think of the tragedy that happened and the
        challenges that remain, it seemed like such a battle
        to come into this town, into this place and stay
        true to your heritage--to remember your ancestry.
        In many ways, the pow-wow created an environment
        that had never existed in the town, and when
        it left--so did its energy, and intention.

        I moved away when I was 13 and since then the
        town has become more diverse...but not by choice.
        Change was forced, an eventual progression.
        I pray things will get better.
        And I have so much gratitude and love for those
        who are not afraid of what is against them while
        representing their traditions, and fighting for change.
         
        Blessings~ Lynn




      • Heather Stimmel
        Hi, Lynn=) We moved here right after Alex (my son) turned 12. The very first year he attended public school here (he was in the 6th grade), one of his
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 18, 2007
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          Hi, Lynn=) We moved here right after Alex (my son) turned 12. The very first year he attended public school here (he was in the 6th grade), one of his classmates called him the 'n' word. Alex told me he didn't tell the teacher, because he "knew" nothing would happen. I ended up calling the principal, who said, "I questioned the boy and he said he didn't say that." I was, like, "Are you serious? Did you really believe that he was gonna' say, 'Yes, I said that'?!" He said, he didn't know what to do. So, I contacted the county superintendent and explained the problem to him. He said, they had a policy against discrimination and that it wouldn't be "tolerated" in his schools. I made it very clear, to him, I KNEW they had an anti-discrimination "policy" (no matter how little it had really been enforced). Then, he went on to tell me a story about a situation his own son had encountered in school. He said, his son had blonde hair (as a child) and that all of his classmates had darker hair. Ya' know where I'm headed??? Anyhow... his son was "discriminated against," due to his blonde hair!!!! I could NOT believe he actually BELIEVED what he was saying!!!!!? I was so appalled, I half-heartedly "thanked" him and hung up. I few days later, I came in contact with a social worker... who works with many kids from the school district. I told her what had happened and she was LIVID. She said, "Are you SERIOUS? He SAID THAT??? I hope you asked him if his son marched for freedom for blonde-haired people or if he was persecuted because he was blonde?!" I laughed, but she did have a point! Ignorance like that is absolutely RIDICULOUS... especially when it involves our children. Thank God... it was Alex's last year at elementary school, and he was about to go to middle school- a very integrated middle school, where... if anything like this were to happen, the kids who did it wouldn't have walked away unharmed! He did very well at this school. I was sooooooooooo happy=) I know exactly what you mean, about Native Americans and other native peoples coming back to areas where things are "tense," to say the least. The area where we currently live was once an area of mostly Native Americans. That is probably where I get my Native American heritage from. I love learning about history... especially in regards to people of different backgrounds/heritages (other than "white"). If people, in general, would take the time to truly EDUCATE themselves on these issues, the world may just be headed in the right direction. It's just so sad that people are willing to REMAIN ignorant??! Oh well! Take care and thanks for your insights=) Sincerely, Heather 
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