Willful ignorance of racial tension

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To the Editor:

Willful ignorance of racial tension in Oregon’s communities (exhibited perfectly by Gene H. McIntyre’s letter to the editor, Keizertimes, March 15) is a primary reason these tensions do not easily subside.

Rather, read the article, titled A Matter of Hate, and consider whether the reported racial concerns exist in ways he had not contemplated,

Mr. McIntyre instead refutes the existence of such concerns altogether. He cites his own personal experience as his sole evidence, presumably adhering to his own standard of “getting all the facts.” Unfortunately, citing only subjectively drawn conclusions seen through rose-colored glasses generally does not tell the whole story. He then references how not once in his 21-year career did a co-worker who identified as an ethnic minority report racial intimidation, as if he expects a victim of racial intimidation to run through the halls screaming about it immediately when it occurs. In fact, failure to report for fear of being ostracized is a common problem when it comes to issues such as incidents of racial intimidation.

Sometimes “getting all the facts in hand” entails considering viewpoints that are not your own. Mr. McIntyre could have used the article in the Statesman Journal as such an opportunity. Instead, the same willful ignorance that allows racial tension to fester in the first place rears its ugly head yet again. Mr. McIntyre may think the Statesman Journal’s journalistic integrity is “shamed,” but not nearly as shamed as a community that fails to address, or even acknowledge the existence of, real problems that do exist and affect real people.  Far from “souring race relations,” addressing these issues head-on and including them in the conversation about how to improve the community is the only way they can be alleviated. Only then will Mr. McIntyre no longer be bothered by what he views as “amateurish and sensationalistic” news stories.

Braden Wolf
Portland

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