Diversity: a gift for democracy
After the murder of Martin Luther King in 1968, I unexpectedly became president of a successful effort to pass open house ordinances in Olympia and Thurston County. At a hearing before Olympia City Council, my older children heard a resident establish the need for such an ordinance.
Today I am Nana of two sets of biracial grandchildren. Getting to know the families of their African American and Indian grandparents has enriched my life. I agree with the author of the letter “Structural racism: a long way to go” [Feb. 6, Northwest Voices] that those living in ethnic isolation have much to learn. When we set aside our gender, religious and economic racism, biases and fears, diversity becomes a gift to all of us because the intellectual gifts, religious diversity, economic capacities and cultural heritage of others enrich us with in a way that too many people cannot imagine.
We must encourage our lawmakers to repeal laws that discriminate, limit, and deny equal rights and access to all Americans and our immigrants. The sooner this happens, the sooner we can also fully understand what it really means to live in a democracy.
Anne Avery, Tacoma