Racism and bigotry have no place in Iowa

Center Focus

Racism and bigotry have no place in Iowa

 

Like many Iowans, staff at the Child and Family Policy Center were rocked by last weekend’s events in Charlottesville, VA, when racist, neo-Nazi protests led by white supremacists exploded into violence and death. As the week has gone on, we have been reflecting on the work we do and how we can actively respond from a thousand miles away.

The protests in Virginia garnered such attention in part because of their outrageousness. But in fact we know that most forms of discrimination are far more subtle—but not less harmful. We know the roots of marginalization start even before children are born and are carried down from generation to generation. They are bound up in our culture, mores, institutions and public policies. And they are not limited to the South. 

We cannot say it out loud enough: racism and bigotry have no place in Iowa. The environment created by these scourges keeps us from building up thriving children, strong families, healthy communities and a vibrant state. 

These are hard issues needing hard conversations. They are especially needed in Iowa, where disparities in child well-being across racial and ethnic groups are some of the most extreme in the country and where there is a strong sense of complacency about just how good a place Iowa is to raise children. 

All of us here at the Child and Family Policy Center are committing publically to continue and expand our work to make sure public policies lift up and provide opportunities to all families and their children, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or socio-economic status.  

In the words of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone (and borrowed by others because of their power), we all do better when we all do better. But this week was a painful reminder that doing better won’t just magically happen; we all have a role to play. 

Below are a few resources on how we can address issues of racism and bigotry in our communities and families: 

 

08/18/2017 11:24 AM |Add a comment
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