The next time the Source asks people on the street about racism, you might want to ask one or two members of a racial minority who might have experienced racism and pure hatred first-hand. You might get some more informed opinions.
I am an Asian-American. For those new to the lingo, that means I was born in the US and my parents are from China. I have experienced racial prejudice and racism as long as I can remember. On Saturday, March 29, I was exiting my vehicle on Bend's oh-so-trendy and affluent Westside. A man I have never seen before in my life, who was stopped at a gas station, said something about shooting "commies," pointed at me with an imaginary rifle and pretended to shoot me. I almost called the police. He was dead serious. THAT is what racism is.
If anyone thinks that race is not an issue in America, or that it doesn't matter, or the issue is totally overblown, they've never been on the receiving end of racism. I'll be the first one
to admit that I am not free of prejudice. Nobody can claim that. We all have stereotypes in our minds to some extent. But I've never wanted anyone dead or assigned blame for America's myriad problems based on race.
If the Source really wanted to know if racism might still be a problem in America, you might have tried asking anyone in Central Oregon with skin of a different color. Believe it or not, there's more than a few of us around these days, and we might have an opinion or two on the subject. Yes, it's a real problem. And we put up with it our entire lives.
Eric C., Bend
Editor's Note: People interviewed for our "Cold Call" feature are chosen at random on the street. However, most of the people we interviewed, regardless of skin color, agreed that racism remains a problem in the U.S.