Panel discusses race relations of Monroe

A cafeteria panel today discussed what racism is and how it’s affecting Monroe.

“FEAR is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real,” said Eric Tucker when discussing fear and its role in current police brutality in the US.

The six panel members introduced by President Kojo Quartey discussed race relations including racism in regards to differences in class, prejudice, and current events.

The panel discussed what racism really is, and can a person of minority be racist.

Jim DeVries told the group that “Racism is not a moral feeling, it’s part of our cultural code.”

Delbra Blackshear said that blacks have racism built into their culture as well.

“We sometimes look at white people the same way white people look at us,” she said.

Blackshear said that a black person can definitely be racist, and that her own mother was.

Sociology professor Joel Fiedler disagreed saying that racism has to come from the group in power, therefor blacks cannot be racist.

“Black people can develop a dislike or a prejudice towards whites, but that’s not racism to me.”

Journalism professor Dan Shaw said that it isn’t a matter of racism that is the problem, but the separation of classes and economic mobility that is breeding hate.

Selma Rankins retired teacher from Monroe, said that the children in the community are good, but that the school superintendents and ISD are bad.

“Kids need to see teachers like them,” he said.

Panel members agreed that race relations in Monroe are headed in a good direction.

“We’re Getting down to seriously discussing things and getting down to the facts.” DeVries said.