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Re: MULTICULTURAL FESTIVAL

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  • 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 1 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 2 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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