Readers comments 9-2-16
Racism in America
I’m only now reading the August 12 COURIER about the furor over a black student wanting to live only with other students of color. She’s being racist? Come on, folks, you’re blaming the victim. It’s white people who are the offending racists. Don’t brush it off as though you can say a few words, pass a law and suddenly you’ve changed history.
If a white female student who had been raped put in her ad for roommates: “Only female students need apply,” would you blame her for prejudice? This white nation has never taken responsibility for slavery. In large segments of this country, far too many people are openly hostile to blacks—it’s not just policemen; policemen only reflect the climate around them.
How long do you think it takes to “get over” centuries of watching white men rape your mothers and sisters and you not able to say a word because you’d be killed? How long to get over not being able to show love to your own family because it would result in your being torn away from them? How long to get over being punished for being intelligent? Can you imagine the lynching of thousands of men, boys and women for even looking at a white person? That’s not distant history; that is our recent history.
How many generations will it take for black people to “get over” that? Especially when the offending nation doesn’t take responsibility. Serious responsibility.
Look at the poverty we still impose on so many black citizens through the humiliating limitations our society imposes on them. Look at the efforts to disenfranchise them at every election, at the horrific current practice of imprisoning black people. Every effort to secure dignity and freedom for black people in this country has been met with resistance. As soon as the federal government issues one assurance of freedom, states find ways to overturn it, exchanging one set of Jim Crow horrors with another.
Claremont is a beautiful city with wonderful people but that doesn’t mean that every student who attends one of its many colleges has the sensitivity or even the desire to appreciate the value of its multicultural, multinational diversity. It shouldn’t be assumed; it needs to be cultivated.
Create social settings in which students can get to know each other, understand each other and begin to trust each other. Meanwhile, students have a right to feel safe, especially in the small confines of the place they call home.
Try to understand and respect the need for a safe space.
In a pickle
Three years ago, several of us approached the city with a suggestion that they consider providing some facilities for pickleball. At the time, our efforts were treated dismissively.
Now, with the compelling evidence that there is intense demand for pickleball nationwide, we wonder what the city is waiting for.
For those not familiar with the sport, there is a lot of information available on the USA Pickleball Association website (usapa.org), including videos of play, locations, etc. There are now more than 4000 locations nationwide, including about 275 in California. But the closest location to Claremont is in Pasadena.
What is surprising about the failure of Claremont to act is that the sport is very well suited for the community and facilities are inexpensive to provide. Most people who currently play pickleball are over 50 (but younger players are increasingly interested), and one tennis court can be lined out to accommodate two pickleball courts. Since pickleball is virtually always played like doubles tennis, one tennis court will support eight players. In Pasadena, two courts allow 16 players with 10 waiting to rotate in.
Moreover, pickleball does not need to displace tennis. Temporary nets are often used and can be purchased for about $150, so players can even buy their own. The only things the city would need to do are to paint some additional lines on existing tennis courts, designate some pickleball priority times and put the word out.
It is well past time for the city of Claremont to provide this recreational choice that residents of all ages can enjoy.