Letter to the Editor

Op-ed ignores inequity

To the editor:

A recent op-ed published in the Review objected to COBI staff equity training, especially topics of reparations and race-based caucusing, claiming it foreshadows “racialized politics” and multi-unit housing in our neighborhoods. The entire piece was written through a lens of white privilege.

I am delighted that COBI had its first-ever equity training, which many cities have required for ages. Training is an important first step in creating a level playing field for everyone. Our laws state that if someone is harmed they have the right to compensation. Considering the harm done to People of Color in this country, we should be asking, “What is owed for that harm?”

Race-based caucusing means providing People of Color space where they can share with others similar-lived experiences. How can that be problematic?

The op-ed stated that equity training “foreshadows the racialized politics of our immediate future,” but our politics have always been racialized. Racialized politics is why we have so much inequity. We need to acknowledge that history so healing can begin.

The op-ed advocates both color-blindness and history-blindness, which ignore inequity. The article’s ultimate threat is “multi-family housing” in our neighborhoods, which is code for poor people or People of Color.

These antiquated, privileged opinions are not what is needed to address the gross inequities of our institutions. We need to learn from past mistakes, repair what we can and work to create a culture that is truly equitable. And training is just the first step.

Peggi Erickson