I want to express thanks for the story you ran in the Oct. 13 issue titled “The Best Place to Live?” I’m an eight-year resident of Carmel and a mother of six school-age children. I’m sorry to admit that until this summer, I was largely unaware of the racism and profiling issues that exist in our nation and in our own Carmel community. After the George Floyd tragedy occurred in May, I decided to look deeper into this issue by researching and talking with friends who had experienced discrimination. What I found surprised and saddened me.
I appreciated each of the stories told by our five Black Carmel neighbors, and I was also encouraged to see commentary from our local leaders. Adam Bray’s comments especially resonated with me when he said, “A lot of this is underlying. It’s really unconscious, a lot of it, not intentional … It would be nice to hear the majority listen and absorb what the experience is and have a little more compassion.”
After all that I have learned this summer about racial issues in our communities, I now firmly believe that it behooves all of us to extend a disproportionately generous amount of love and understanding to all minorities. We must be proactive. We all must go out of our way to send a message of acceptance and understanding. Smile at your minority neighbors. Say hello in the grocery store. Extend sincere compliments. Take time to talk with your children about ways they can extend kindness to their minority peers at school. These good people enrich and strengthen our community, and I’m grateful for them. If we will share our lives with them and invite them to share their lives in return, we will all be better for it.
Lisa Washburn, Carmel