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May 17, 2006


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Ed Hawks

I really don't know why any black community member would support a "Black Leader". The term black leader in itself defines racism. I don't support any "White Leaders". That would put me in the same camps as the KKK or Nazi's or Skinheads. The longer these "leaders" have followings of people based on race or color the longer we will have racism. Ignore these "leaders", treat others as you would onto yourself and this for profit business of racism will become a thing of the past and we can all just become Americans.

John Hughes

It's tough to be caucasian and to hear these words. It's tough to be black and once again get passed over by a power structure that isn't and has never been African-American.

The writer is likely white. If you aren't black, you don't know the constant, endless, low-level racism and discrimination that you feel, everywhere. You don't realize that experiencing that, 24/7, your entire life, can make any letdown feel race-related. You talk about a color-blind society yet not walking in my shoes, you simply can't know what that's like. And when I try to have some, ANY tiny amount of influence, and am denied AGAIN, you assume that I'm trying to intimidate you or serve my "special interests". Pulease.

Perhaps my special interests are simply to have some say and to not be denied, yet again.

So before you get your skivvies in a bunch, and assume that I am not a "person of goodwill", perhaps it might be better to go meet some black folks, understand their issues, and try to resolve issues rather than spouting anti-black negativity to other white folks on a website. This us-vs.-them and their evil special interests thing is old and more importantly, ineffective.

The Executive Director


You speak from ignorance. You know nothing of my experiences, and you clearly have not grasp the plain meaning of my words. If you don't understand how making a charge of racism without a shred of evidence is an injustice, then you are part of the problem. It is precisely because racism is a serious matter, one must not bandy about the accusation lightly.

The fact is whatever the color of the skin, the heart that beats underneath it is the same for everyone. The sting of rejection and the pain of injustice, whatever their cause, wounds us all the same. So all of us do walk in each other shoes. The human condition is universal, even if our experiences are not identical.

Bill Tingley
The Executive Director

The Executive Director

Hi, Ed.

Thanks again for your comments. Always to the point and the epitome of commonsense.

Regards, Bill

John Hughes


Thank you for listening to and considering my opinion. Thank you also for considering that my experience might be different from your own. And finally, THANK YOU for not just spouting off more negativity about this issue!

Your open-mindedness, empathy and lack of intellectual egotism are refreshing and go a long way toward establishing more dialogue between people of different color. You make me proud to be a GR native.


Ed Hawks

Probably not too many black people around that have not suffered from racism. I can relate though because I was am 18 year old no future white peon enlisted person serving in the Army during the 80's. I joined due to a lack of any real career or college opportunity. At that time a good 60 plus percent of the Non-Commissioned officers that I served under were black. Big difference between the civilian world and the military. THEY OWN YOUR BUTT so trust me I can relate. We had a lot of good people in the Army and lot's of aholes. They came in all colors and sizes. We just need to quit worrying about race and bring our kids up the best way we no how and teach them to judge people by the content of their character period. The rest will work itself out.


I was born and raised in a time where affirmative action had been in place for years, the Civil Rights movements of the 60's were nothing more than something in history books, and I went to a school with both black and white children. I also went to restaurants, movie theatres, and church with people of a different race than me, and thought nothing of it. Rarely, if ever, did anything come up that had to do with race. I find it interesting that the older people in this country and society today are the ones (with a seemingly small exception of Bill Cosby and Alan Keyes) who are still playing with the race card, and promoting racism.

Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are nothing but humorous pissants to laugh at and poke fun at; they are certainly not the "great leaders" that folks of my parents generation thought them to be.

As a person in my mid-twenties, I find it both humurous and sad that people are still bringing up and trying to play off race issues. We have had a black man and currently have a black woman in some of the highest positions in this country, and this is scoffed at. Instead of using these wonderful people as examples, they are mocked and laughed at. It seems that the only reason that people can't get out of the race factor, is because their own race is holding them back.

The Executive Director


Thanks for the kind words. We probably agree on much more than we disagree.


I too served in the Air Force around the same time you were in the Army. My experience was similar.


You have made a perceptive observation. I agree that much of the pot-stirring on race is generational, as is evidenced in this most recent episode.

Regards, Bill

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L.A.W. Highlights

  • Yeah, and Summer is Hotter Than Winter
    The Grand Rapids Press ignores science to promote feel-good politics on the environment and becomes the watchdog that doesn't bark.
  • When Will It Stop?
    Enough of the repulsive tactic of accusing everyone of bigotry who doesn't kowtow to the racemongers.
  • Thirty-Six Bucks
    Balancing the City budget: Maybe it's time for those making a living on the taxpayer's dime to give up a little instead of sticking it to the taxpayer one more time.
  • The Problem With Teachers
    Why teachers are the professionals least suited to run a school district -- or even a school.
  • The Pig in the Python
    The dirty little secret behind the success and failure of every school reform that the education establishment, the public school bureaucrats, and the teachers unions will never reveal.
  • The Fool's Gold of a College Education
    Most kids who get a college degree today have nothing but an expensive credential that lands them a job that any high school graduate could have gotten a generation ago -- WITHOUT the heavy burden of paying back a student loan.
  • The Fixer
    A four-part series about the local attorney behind the demise of Autodie, Butterworth Hospital, Amway, and Old Kent. Warning: Strong accusations of corruption, greed, and skullduggery. Not for the feint of heart.
  • Poison
    The nasty nature of the 26,000 tons of poison that The Boardwalk's developers dug up and then dumped upon the rest of us.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: The Demise of Quixtar
    The re-branding of Amway as Quixtar put lipstick on the pig, but none of the crappy way of doing business changed. Now comes public scrutiny around the world to control its kingpins and clean up the dirty "tools" business.
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  • Living Wage Kills Jobs
    City pols support a Marxist policy that, like all Marxist policies, hurt the very people they say it will help.
  • El Dorado, Big Rock Candy Mountain, and the Grand Rapids Public School District
    Those of us not in straitjackets are fairly certain that lands of fabulous wealth free for the taking do not exist. No El Dorado, no Big Rock Candy Mountain, no Shangri-la, and no GRPS with money growing on trees.
  • Defenders Who Do Not Defend
    Excessive plea-bargaining, lack of preparation, shoddy to non-existent representation, conflicts of interests are rife among lawyers taking public defender cases on the taxpayer dime.