An open letter to my (very white) hometown

This week my childhood school district decided that stating Black Lives Matter in schools is political and shall not be done.

I cannot standby and let that decision go unchecked. h/t to my friend Nicole for getting the letter writing campaign started. Here’s mine:

Dear Superintendent Baumann,

It made me sad to read about the Lakeville School District’s decision not to allow Black Lives Matter banners in schools. This is not a political issue. It is a human rights issue.

I graduated from Lakeville High School in 1999. My class of about 500 had one Black student. We never talked about the lack of diversity in Lakeville or the school. We never talked about how that one student might feel.

It’s time for Lakeville to talk about this real issue. It’s time for young people to know about the history of racism, white flight, and redlining. It’s time for Brown and Black students in Lakeville to feel seen.

The role of schools is to prepare students for the future. At our 20-year class reunion, my classmates and I talked about how unprepared we felt and how sad it was that our school was so white and that we never talked about it.

The world is changing and it’s important that schools keep up. Yes, it might be difficult and uncomfortable, but keeping ourselves comfortable is what got us where we are right now. Where some people believe their lives don’t even matter—because other people treat them like their lives don’t matter.

And matter is already a very low bar.

To call a declaration that Black Lives Matter political and end the conversation is allowing racism to continue.

We owe it to our BIPOC brothers and sisters to do better and educate ourselves, so they don’t have to experience more pain educating us. It’s our turn.

I call on you to open the conversation in Lakeville schools and allow Black Lives Matter banners in schools.

Thank you,

Candace Nelson

Published by Candace

I’m a journalist, nutritionist, doting auntie, one-time bobsledder, and wannabe health nut (who loves chocolate and pizza too much to fully commit). I don't want you to think my life is perfect. It's not.

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