It’s not hard to be color blind. In fact, humans are born that way.
They can see all the vibrant hues of the world — from the cool colors of blues and purples to the warm colors of reds and yellows. But when it comes to skin color, while babies and children recognize the many shades and pigments, they do not discriminate.
They do not associate stereotypes with skin tones.
They do not fear, hate or loathe because of race alone.
No, that is taught. Sadly, that is something that infects their world from outside sources. Isn’t it funny that children have to be taught ignorance?
In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. told the world about a dream he had where his four children would one day be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Sadly, 50 years later, we continue to fight the battle against racism. The battle is fought in the hallways of schools. The battle is fought on playgrounds. The battle is fought in neighborhoods. The battle is fought in the workplace.
And fighting the good fight this week was the Young Women Christian Association of Marion County, more commonly known as the YWCA, which hosted a workshop to celebrate Stand Against Racism Day by promoting acceptance and inclusion, making “peace flags” and learning about diversity.
Stand Against Racism Day was established in 2007 by YWCA chapters in New Jersey and is celebrated by nearly 250,000 people each year.
“They joined forces because they wanted to bring people together from all walks of life, different economic backgrounds and cultures to focus on common concerns and beneficial opportunities that affect the quality of life in our community,” said Cecily Enos, executive director of the Marion County YWCA.
Marion County is not especially diverse, with a 95 percent white population. However, Enos said the schools are more diverse than the general population.
“The ones that recognize that racism and sexism and the ‘-isms’ are still alive and well are the students,” she said. “Not so much the adults, because they’ll say, ‘We don’t have that,’ but the students, the ones in the schools, they recognize it.”
And it is our responsibility as adults to tell our children that it’s not OK to discriminate based on color or race. It’s our job to take a stand against racism by talking to our kids and grandchildren and reinforcing the idea that all men and women are created equal.
Hate is baggage — acceptance and love sets us free, as Dr. King said that August day 50 years ago.
“And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.’”
It’s not hard to be color blind. In fact, humans are born that way.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
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Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
County honors men who gave all in helping their community
The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.
State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less
The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
Let’s not do that again.
Long-range vision with transportation has been made to be thing of proud past
Last week’s closure of Fairmont’s Fourth Street Bridge is a symbol of a problem that must be fixed.
The United States should be proud of the vision its leaders once displayed to address the country’s transportation needs.
Back in 1954, for example, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his goal of an interstate highway system — something that transformed the country.
COLUMN: Who would leave animal in sweltering car?
I was standing and debating between two brands of a product in a big box store when I heard a call over the intercom:
“Will the owner of a green Cavalier with a dog inside please report to the lawn and garden center.”
I shook my head. I hate seeing dogs in cars waiting while their owners shop. About five minutes later, there was another announcement over the intercom.
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- Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely