Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Note from the Editor on the Racist Graffiti Follow-Up Story

EDITOR'S NOTE: As a journalist, I came away from the interview below, feeling that the rest of the story had been told. But as a person, knowing the other side of this story left me feeling hollow. After years of taking one step of racial tolerance foward, each instance like this is one step back. The message of racial tolerance still has a long way to go to be understood. That battle is won, one person at a time. Meanwhile, here's another step back that will haunt one young person the rest of his life.

Examples of racial graffiti always startle us and profound us. They make us angry, retaliatory, and lost in sensibilities. But if they do anything, they cause us to re-examine our own philosophy about race relations. When you see or hear about racial graffiti, do you just dismiss it, not wanting to talk about it? Do you have a knee-jerk reaction, usually invoked by the anger reflex? Or, do you see it as an opportunity to have a meaningful discussion on the causes and effects of racial intolerance?

The legal system has passed judgment on this case. The Court of Public Opinion is now gearing up for its social response. Whether you believe what you've heard or not, examine your own soul first. Therein, you will find what the late Paul Harvey used to call.. "the rest of the story."

Calvin Sneed, Editor