Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Racism Remains in Washington State

I came across this yesterday. Over the years, I’ve been involved with the situation of American Indians in northwest Washington. Like their cousins elsewhere, they’ve been screwed over continuously. Judge Boldt’s decision, giving the Indians a fair share of the salmon catch intensified the anger of white people up there over the Indians still being around. A few years ago, when the Makah were exercising their treaty rights to harvest a gray whale, the anger once again boiled to the surface. One of the anti-Indian signs read: “Save a whale: spear a Makah.”

A few months back, the citizens of Port Angeles went into a tizzy over the discovery and preservation of an ancient village site. The location was right where the state wanted to build a graving dock that had the possibility of offering some jobs to the local population. Once again name-calling and violence erupted against the First Citizens of the area.

Adele Fergusen's column contains the first defense of slavery I've seen in years. Sure, I avoid the white nationalist sites like I do rattlesnakes and wasp nests—but to find such a piece in a "business journal" staggers me.

One friend told me I’d have to live in the area to fully understand the depth and amount of racism that’s present up there. However, my understanding increased when I read the following column:

The Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal

Why do blacks continue to support Democrats?
By Adele Fergusen
One of these days before I die, I hope to see a shift in the attitudes of so many of my black brothers and sisters in this great country we share, from perpetual victimhood, to pride in their achievements on the road from slave to American citizen.

Remember Ronald Reagan’s story about the kid who had to shovel a huge pile of manure? He went about it with such joy he was asked why and said, “With all that manure, there’s got to be a pony in there somewhere.”

The pony hidden in slavery is the fact that it was the ticket to America for black people. I have long urged blacks to consider their presence here as the work of God, who wanted to bring them to this raw, new country and used slavery to achieve it. A harsh life, to be sure, but many immigrants suffered hardships and indignations as indentured servants. Their descendants rose above it. You don’t hear them bemoaning their forebears’ life the way some blacks can’t rise above the fact theirs were slaves.

Besides freedom, a job and a roof over their heads, they all sought respect. But even after all these years, too many have yet to realize that to get respect, you have to give it.

The treatment given President Bush at Coretta King’s funeral was shameful. And these weren’t poor, uneducated black people who “dissed” him. They were among the country’s top-drawer blacks, there to bury black royalty. While Bush got the cold shoulder, former President Clinton was welcomed as if he still held the office.

It mystifies me why the black population remains in thrall to the Democratic party. Black parents want a good education for their children yet they are consistently denied two opportunities that have proven enormously helpful in the few places where they are allowed because the D’s oppose them. School vouchers and charter schools.

The teacher unions, among top contributors to the Democratic party, oppose them for fear of losing control of the public schools which continue to turn out kids who have to be slipped through graduation by finding alternatives to standard requirements for learning, and where black kids fall behind whites. And what the teacher unions are against, the Democrats are against. Many a school board member is a Democratic activist there to be on the ground floor against vouchers and charter schools.

In the few places where vouchers to attend private schools and innovative charter schools are allowed, the unions file lawsuits claiming damage to the public schools by diverting the voucher money to poor families and limiting as much as possible the number of students who can attend the charters. They won one in Florida last month.

Sure, the ultimate solution is to jack up the performance of the public schools, but so long as the unions are running the show, that isn’t going to happen. The unions don’t care if you’re a good teacher, just that you’re a member and pay your dues. It is nearly impossible to get rid of an incompetent teacher. Their interest is themselves, not the kids, and their answer to the poor performance of the schools is more money.

Black students regularly trail white students because they get the more inexperienced and less qualified teachers and are plagued by low expectations. Results of the use of vouchers and charter schools have been outstanding, yet the Democrats say no, so why do black parents support them? Why do they act the victim?

Blacks have no Cesar Chavez. Jesse Jackson isn’t going to buck the Democratic Party. Neither is the NAACP. Black parents should confront Democratic leaders at all levels and demand these tools of learning be made available or expanded or don’t count on our vote for your candidates. You’ve let the unions keep your kids down too long already.

(Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, Wa., 98340.)

"It mystifies me why the black population remains in thrall to the Democratic party."

Perhaps because they are smarter than white people and think Democracy should be about we the people as opposed to we the rich and priveledged or we the corporation.
dave, you are an idiot.
Very intelligent comment by anonyous. Dave seems to have it right. The black population like so many of us have realized that the Republican administration cares only about their rich friends. Look at tax cuts for the very wealthy but not for the middle class or poor.
Anonymous can stay anonymous, because to reveal oneself after criticizing Daves statement is BEING AN IDIOT. Democracy is always about the people first, because, it is the common people that keeps the the big man strong. good example of this is the pyramid that symbolizes business struture. Cant have a good structure without a strong base, and cant have a strong base without putting your all in it!
Racism is very strong in WA state. As a minority I have been discriminated against for jobs I was well qualified for for inadequate reasons. I regret moving here and will warn others to be aware of the prejudice that goes on in this state.
School vouchers <- pesky that separation of church and state huh?
You know I was not militant about my atheism till the religious right started to get my attention and piss me off.

Charter schools while not always religious are for the most part private and parents/organizations have to pay cash to get a student in there usually a lot of cash
its not non-profit, if it were free and lived on donations then yes I could see our government helping out
I was offered a temp position in Bothell, WA...I looked up a few things and felt that that would not be a great place, socially, to live...what's your opinion?
The worst is everett wa and the health department district, they are racist if you planing on opening a business in everett, and you have accent , you will never get approve, fullyyyyyyyyy racist, or if you look white you will get approved
washington is also a very homophobic and genderphobic state.
nice story
Though, I am a Moderate, and don't agree with either political party, I agree with the spirit of the article.

I have seen too many African Americans use the victim stance, or even be openly racist themselves toward other races, or homophobic, transphobic, or genderphobic.

I would agree that both political parties are basically becoming deadlocked in their own self-interests, rather than the good of the country as a whole.

Washington is racist. Very much so. But not in the way you might think, though there is a bit of that. They are racist against outsiders. Very much so. If people move here and arn't from the "Pacific Northwest" then they might as well be Jews and themselves Nazi's for all they are concerned.

They are racist to non-Pacific Northwesterners with a cruelty that is horrifying. To say nothing of their traditional racism and bigotry towards Gays, Genderqueer people, Blacks, and anybody of a different religion other than Christian. They seem to also have a special place of discrimination towards the local Native Americans.

This is a very hateful place. And as is often the case with bigots, they are hateful and mean with each other as well, -but that's ok, according to them, as long as you are in their clique; they will be loyal to their clique members and insulting and mean to each other the same day.

They lie as a culture. And are deathly afraid of and shun honesty in any form. Particularly critical honesty. And they are absolutely afraid of diversity and independant and critical thinking. Conformity is proselytized with religious furvor, and they are very hostile and afraid to anyone who dares voice a differing opinion. Freedom of speach and of thought is shunned here.

Very, very interesting state.
I've lived in many, including in the South, and this is easily the most racist and discriminatory state I've ever been or lived in.

I'd almost rather live in the deep south than here.

Very racist.
But again, not in the ways that you'd think.
This comment has been removed by the author.
As I read all of your words..I dont see what you see. I do know some racists but the newer generations dont do such things. nobody cares when youre younger so why should it care if you are older? The only reason people might be racist is because they think their jobs are at stake. That is bullcrap. Most foreigners that come here take the jobs nobody wants. If they were really concerned about their jobs they would be doing them. Why do people always have to blame another race of people for their own stupid problems.
Our country has been a mix of races since the WWI Why does it still have to matter what kind of person you are?
I love Washington the people the opertunity, and most of all the work ethics. I just don't feel the same for tacoma. People here use the there cars and trucks as weapons as an intimidation facter. Or will actually yel racist remarks out of there truck. I even stopped shopping here because of (THE LOOK) and my kids will not be going to school here. This city has changed me. Im really protective of my kids now more .
[quote]One of the anti-Indian signs read: “Save a whale: spear a Makah.”[/quote]

That was in no way a racist sign; it was obviously a pro-whale sign. If a local Girl Scout troop had plans to spear a whale the sign would have said: "Save a whale: spear a Girl Scout." The sign would still be pro-whale, not any girl. If you insist on characterizing such a sign as anti-anything, it is anti whoever wants to spear a whale, regardless of whatever other group the intended spearers belong to.
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