Continuing the discussion from the May 11 letters ("Racists Among Us"), I don't want to ask of anyone that she not lead the fullest life she can. I don't want my community to be a fearful, unsafe place. I am humiliated by the racism in my country. I am aggrieved by the suffering and loss that racism begets. And I don't want to ask any member of the black community, or any other community, to miss out on leading a full life (going where they want to go, exploring where they want to explore, learning what they want to learn) when what I deeply want is to make places in my community wholly unsafe for racist acts. In places where I can go and feel safe, I must consider that that itself, alas, is a privilege. In those places, I have an advantage and it is my privilege to be present to help make those places safe and welcoming places for all. Hard work, we all know, but if I feel safe there, I should take advantage of that freedom (from fear) that I have.
Thank you, David Josiah Lawson, for leading a life that gave me more courage to have the wherewithal to speak up publically so that I, too, may help end racism and all its forms of violence.
Oona Smith, Arcata