• Racism, Bigotry and Hate. 

    Racism is prejudice, discrimination, opposition or active hostility which is directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior to another race or races. 

    Bigotry is intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.  One who regards or treats the members of a group (such as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred  and intolerance.

    Hate is a feeling of intense or passionate dislike for someone, usually deriving from fear, anger, or a sense of injury; extreme dislike or disgust; to feel intense dislike for someone. 

    John F. Kennedy, 35th President

    "This nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds.  It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened." 

    Ronald Reagan, 40th President
    "I would like to address a few remarks to those groups who still adhere to senseless racism and religious prejudice.  I would say to them you are the ones who are out of step with society, you are the ones who willfully violate the meaning of the dream that is America, and this country because of  what it stands for will not stand for your conduct."

    George H. Bush, 41st President
    "And we’ll keep on working to create a climate of understanding and tolerance, a climate that refuses to accept racism, bigotry, anti-semitism, and hate of any kind any time, anywhere."

    Barack Obama, 44th President
    "Removing the (Confederate) flag from this state’s capitol would not be an act of political correctness, it would not be an insult to the valor of confederate soldiers.  It would simply be an acknowledgement that the cause for which they fought, the cause of slavery was wrong."  
    (Source:  How past U.s. presidents have addressed racism and bigotry, CBS This Morning, August 17, 2017) 

  • Racism and religious discrimination often occur because of assumptions which are made because of a person's background, or appearance, or religion, or a different way of thinking.  Some fear people whom they don't know and who believe things that are different.  One solution is to interact more with each other, increasing our knowledge and getting to know about one another to make the unfamiliar more familiar.  We can all learn to treat others with dignity, when we take the time to learn about our neighbors, their beliefs, and their cultures.

    Many years ago, a young boy visited his uncle who worked in the lumber business. They were looking at the trees in the lumber camp, when the boy noticed a very tall tree standing alone on the hilltop. Full of excitement the boy showed his uncle the towering tree.  "Look at that big tree!" he exclaimed.  "It will make a lot of good lumber, won't it." 

    To the boy's surprise, his uncle shook his head. "No," he said.  "That tree will not make a lot of good lumber. It might make a lot of lumber, but not a lot of good lumber. When a tree grows off by itself, too many branches grow on it. Those branches produce knots when the tree is cut into the lumber.  The best lumber comes from trees that grow together in groves. The trees also grow taller and straighter when they grow together."

    It is true of trees, and it is true of each of us. We grow into better people when we grow together rather than alone. While there is value in independence, there are also critical lessons to learn from interdependence.  The personal growth that comes from giving and receiving help can happen in no other way.  We were not meant to be solitary, to stand alone, apart from one another.  We need other people to love and care about, and we thrive when others love and care about us. Each one of us is needed, and each one of us has something to offer. Together we are better than we would be alone.

    All around us are those who are lonely, those who need a friend, a word of encouragement, a kind outreach. So many people are looking for the light of love and the warmth of friendship.  We can resolve not to let them stand alone in the dark or the cold. We can reach out to them.  We can take an interest in them and include them. We can help them stand taller and grow straighter; and like trees that grow in groves, we will find that we too can stand taller and grow straighter.  This is what happens when trees and people grow together.  (Lloyd Newell, Music and the Spoken Word, February 26, 2017k)
Additional Resources
Spokane Community Against Racism (SCAR)
Our Mission is to identify and address racial disparities through a variety of community efforts, which include education, advocacy, research, community engagement, impacting policy, and challenging existing organizations and structures.