Letter to the Editor: The problem with racism

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Dear Editor,
“There is no such thing as race. None. There is just the human race. Scientifically, anthropologically, racism is a construct – a social construct. And it has benefits. Money can be made off of it, and people who don’t like themselves can feel better because of it. It can describe certain kinds of behavior that are wrong or misleading. So it has a social function, racism.” -Toni Morrison, author.
In light of what has recently gone on in our communities and country, I feel compelled to address our local citizens and ask the question, “When will we as a human race come together and start working on healing and helping our communities?”
As a citizen born and raised in Opelika, I have personally witnessed life in the housing authority and in suburbia with my four children. As a single mother, I worked hard to make sure not only my children but others in the community learned to show respect for themselves and others. I would often tell them our living arrangements are only temporary but they should always strive to want more and to do better for themselves.
When I was able to better myself, I moved my family out of the housing authority but I have always tried to give back and instill in others (parents, elders, children, etc.) that respect for themselves and others is the only way we as a people will achieve success in this world. I have served in many organizations and always reach out to help people in our communities.
I’ve worked as an aide and substitute teacher in our school system, ran a store in downtown Opelika and recently tried to reopen a convenience store in a neighborhood to help those who weren’t able to get to large grocery stores due to a lack of transportation and for convenience. My efforts were blocked by the ward’s councilwoman who fought against my efforts tooth and nail with lame excuses as to why it wouldn’t open. One excuse was it wasn’t zoned. It had to have been zoned because it was a store for many years before my efforts. I have obtained a multitude of signatures from people in this particular ward, as well as their family and caregivers, who have said there is definite need for a store in the neighborhood. I have witnessed children walking long distances to get candy, drinks, and snacks and staple food items for themselves and older family members at the distant grocery stores when I could have provided one in their neighborhood.
Election year is here, now is the time. We as a people, a human race, have to come together to vote our so called leaders/politicians in or out who are not benefitting or helping our communities to grow, heal and promote unity in our communities and country. It is time to take a stand, come together and plant seeds of healing and helping. Each One, Teach One! It starts at home, in our communities, schools and churches. Proverbs 22:6 states, “Bring up a child in the way he should go and when he gets old he will not depart from it.” It takes a village to raise and teach our human race.
So I pose the question: When will we come together as a human race to help promote unity in our communities?
Roxie Jackson-Ramsey
Opelika

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