I have a few opinions about a recent incident in our neighborhood that I would like to share and this may or may not be the opinion of our Board of Directors so don’t hold this against them if you don’t agree. I feel that I am in a unique position to state this openly and have earned the right to be heard through the many hours I have dedicated to this community.
It is my opinion that this whole situation (detailed in the image below) is an example of the systemic racism that pervades our culture. It has been well established that people of color are significantly more likely viewed as a “threat” even with no other indicators. Given the current situation our neighbors have experienced with the break-ins, everyone is a lot more jumpy and observant. This combination was the perfect storm that caught Mr Robins in its wake.
It’s incumbent upon all of us to learn about, acknowledge, and mediate these tendencies so that similar harm is not inflicted on others. To make Mr Robins’ life easier I’m sharing his story on social media and the news, but I won’t be able to, nor should I have to do that with everyone who comes through our neighborhood, as much as I try.
Existing in space, walking down a public street is not a crime, while following and/or harassing someone potentially is. For more information see http://kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/research/understanding-implicit-bias/.
Such incidents (and the fallout from them) make People of Color who live and work here feel unwelcome among their own neighbors. Even if we don’t participate in such actions, we send a message when we don’t speak out against them. It’s important that Waldo remain a diverse and welcoming community to everyone–we are so much stronger united than divided.
If you wish to contribute to Brandon’s fund, please visit http://towerhomesassociation.org/?page_id=2150 where we will be collecting until February 24th so we can deliver to him by the weekend of February 25, 2017