Children behaving badly is a multi-racial thing
I've read Richard Peterson's letter twice and each time I feel more anger. I'm going to write this letter and then let it go.
Ultimately, I feel Peterson's letter has set us back a few steps in race relations between Red Lake and Bemidji. He says that finger pointing will not correct the problems with race relations, yet that's pretty much the essence of his letter.
Children behaving badly is multi-racial; it happens everywhere. If you see someone's child or children shoplifting, which is what I consider sampling skin care products, report them. The same should be applied to children damaging items in the store, whatever that item might be.
I'm not going to accept, "Well, if I do, I'll be considered a racist." If I see the same thing, I'll be reporting your children no matter what skin color they are. To do so selectively is racism.
Before making assumptions about whether the Red Lake logo is correct or not, a person should do a little research. Make a phone call.
My understanding about the logo is that the lake was included in the original treaty negotiations. All of Red Lake was to belong to the Red Lake Ojibwe, but when the signed papers were filed at our nation's capital, part of the lake was excluded. The Red Lake logo is correct as it is geographically as well. It remains intact as a body of water.
The words, "some of his people," bring back memories of Ross Perot. Part of racism is seeing us as different and not as one. You'd be surprised at how similar we all are to each other between Bemidji and Red Lake. What I'm asking is that all of us Red Lakers be seen individually.
We don't all behave as what you've been experiencing, Mr. Peterson. And not everyone in Bemidji behaves as what some of us have experienced, either. Meanwhile, I'm coming down to do some shopping and I'm going to smile and say hello to every one of you, regardless of skin color. Have a nice day.