About a year ago, I moved to Spokane with high hopes.
Greeting me wasn’t just the tall trees and bright flowers people told me about, but hate speech and Confederate flags flying over churches. My first emotion was fear. I, for a long time, was in horror of what would happen to me here. I was a black girl who had just moved from Arizona and hadn’t encountered much racism before.
I quickly learned that I wasn’t alone. I joined Mead High School’s Black Student Union and discovered that some people who have lived here their entire lives have been living in fear. In the mere year I have spent here, the things I had perceived to be unimaginable have become my everyday life. I’ve been called the n-word by strangers and catcalled by adults when walking down the street.
I have been shocked by how people here are treated, and Spokane needs to raise its standards. We have a racist past, and it perpetuates a racist future. The only way to help mend our town is to teach our kids to be better, to hope for a safer future where we won’t need to write letters begging for change, where our children will feel safe.
Please, Spokane, for the sake of the future, step it up.