Letter to the Editor


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To the editor:

I recently read the article on the NAACP's rejection of the school bond issue. I do not with to attack anything or anyone other than the group, statements and arguments in question. The local NAACP, I believe, has let its judgment be clouded. I hold only the leadership of the NAACP responsible.

The NAACP said it would not support the bond issue because it would be detrimental to the people of color in the city. The first reason they gave was that the district employs only a small percentage of minority teachers -- minorities in this case meaning black. I do not believe the NAACP is concerned with other so-called minority groups. The NAACP believes that Cape Girardeau's public school should hire more people of color like themselves. I support their ideals, because having positive role models in all segments of society is important. However, I am disturbed by this short-sided and racists attitude.

I have talked to administrators, and they indicate that it is a lack of qualified applicants who apply that results in a shortage of minority teachers being hired. It has been estimated that 75 percent of all minority applicants are hired by the district. It has also been indicated that the school district sends minority teachers and administrators to recruitment conferences for the specified purpose of finding recruiting minority employees. Furthermore, when applications are screened by the administrators, racial information is not known. While the NAACP believes the administrators do not have the right to determine who is qualified for employment, I disagree. It is the responsibility of administrators to determine the quality of the applicant.

The second assumption made by the NAACP is that only people of one colored skin can be role models for people of their own skin shade. This is as racist a statement as I have heard. I have and have had role models of a darker skin color than mine. These role models were based on the content of their character, not the color of their skin or the sex of the individual.

The NAACP also states it would not support the bond issue because the location of the new school will be where there is an affluent neighborhood and some rather larger and expensive homes. This ideology infuriates me, because it shows how this organization has tried to keep people of color in a low income mode.

I will speak as someone from a lower-income family. When I was in or around wealthy homes, I aspired to live in a similar environment. I found those homes to be desirable and dreamed to achieve. I may someday achieve that dream, because I never had an organization such as the NAACP that tried to keep me or people like me feeling inferior.

This country is divided and getting more that way on key issues. The division is based on the idea of fairness. The 14th Amendment guarantees all people equal protection under the law. Groups like the NAACP, which fought to hard to ensure all people the right to be treated equal, are now contradicting themselves. They are now causing the division that once they sought to eliminate.

I hope the NAACP can awaken and use its God-given gifts and talents to uplift and inspire all people. I hope it can begin to look at all people with love, regardless of the color of their skin. I ultimately hope that the NAACP will see, here in Cape Girardeau, that anyone who has a good work ethic, an honest attitude and dreams a little can achieve. I ask that the NAACP please reconsider and think positively as to how God is opening doors to his colorblind society. It is up to us to see they open door and go in.


Cape Girardeau