August 8, 2020
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Support Real, Systemic Change

Published July 08, 2020

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My husband and I participated in the June 13 youth-organized march to support Black Lives Matter. The speech by youth activist Ethan Richmond, described in The Source [June 18, “Youth-Led March Continues Black lives Matter Movement in Madison”] as including the “steady and unremitting rain of (the) racist treatment and abuse he endured through childhood…” speaks to a failure in Madison’s almost all white school system to teach the true American story. How can this still be true 60 years after my and my husband’s white supremacy education in Massachusetts? In 2020, how can anyone be surprised that racism is systemic in our town’s institutions? It harms everyone, but especially its BIPOC targets.

One march cannot change the way that racism is embedded and hidden in Madison’s communal decision-making. But now is an opportunity for Madison’s residents to wake up and ask pointed questions of political candidates, candidates for superintendent of schools, the boards of police commissioners and education, and the Planning & Zoning Commission.

Becoming anti-racist begins with paying attention for more than a moment. It is hard but moral work. Will your readers join in the effort to support real, systemic change in Madison?

Maureen Lopes