Letter to the editor: More on racism, ideology and party loyalty

Editor:
I was moved by Alicia Crank’s letter describing her feelings during and after the campaign. As a minority myself, I know what it is like to be discriminated against.  But it is what we do with what life has handed you and what you do along your life’s journey that defines who and what you are. For instance, I was “tracked” in high school and placed in secretarial classes because I was not considered college material.  This practice was common back then — 1960s — if one was financially disadvantaged and a minority.  So I spent a year at a junior college making up all the classes I should have had in high school before being admitted into nursing school. Never once did I or my family allow me to see myself as a victim. I worked hard and graduated. I hold two master’s degrees. 
I come from a family of Democrats. My father immigrated from Mexico at 16 and became a U.S. citizen 25 years after applying. He was a product of the Depression and loved President Roosevelt.  He was, and I am, a Jack Kennedy kind of Dem. “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You, But What You Can Do For Your Country.” I served as Democrat Precinct Committee Officer for Edmonds 35 for five years, and Executive Recording Sec for the 21st Leg. District Dems.  I got tired of being told that I had to vote the party way.  I got tired of the “Herd of Minds” all going in the same direction and expecting me to follow.  I choose to think for myself. I’m blessed that I live in this beautiful country — warts and all — and have the right to vote!  It appears that being Progressive seems to have taken on a position of  “If you don’t think and do like me, you’re a racist.” Enough with that nonsense. What happened to civility? We seem to have lost that ability. Let us respect opposing points of view. Agree to disagree, collaborate and find common ground.
Although, I appreciated some of the things Ms. Crank said, I did not vote for her. I was extremely bothered by her resume.   wondered how does a person who has served and is serving on so many boards really do the position and work justice? I was honored to be appointed to serve on our State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission’s Advisory Board a few years back. This one position required an enormous amount of time, research, writing — work!  At the same time I was working to pass a bill with our state Legislature I had written to help safeguard the health of school-age children while at school.  It took eight years. Gov. Inslee signed it into law in 2017.  I could not have served on multiple boards such as the ones Ms. Crank outlines in her resume at the same time and contribute in a meaningful way to any of them. I wanted to hear from her that she was not simply a name on a board, not padding her resume, but what she had accomplished for the people she served while on these many boards. I would hope Ms. Crank had not been appointed to serve because she was a minority, to make the board look diverse. How insulting and demeaning to be appointed to anything because of the color of our skin. This is what I consider racism, an insult. I/we are not pawns to be used by others to make them feel “inclusive.”  I was therefore offended by the Nov. 14 article written by Erin Ornes. I believe the majority of our Edmonds community is better than that.
As for who should be appointed to fill the vacant seat, I believe the decision should be based on the applicant’s qualifications, independence, and experience — not on their allegiance to a political party or intractable ideology.
 
Theresa Campa Hutchison
Edmonds

13 Replies to “Letter to the editor: More on racism, ideology and party loyalty”

  1. I appreciate that you know your own personal limits on your time and effectiveness serving on boards (“I could not have served on multiple boards such as the ones Ms. Crank outlines in her resume at the same time and contribute in a meaningful way to any of them.”). There are many folks who can work a full time job, serve on multiple boards, and still have a time for family/friends. Back in the day, no one would question a man who held multiple volunteer board positions. To suggest that Ms. Crank’s inclusion on these boards may have been minority tokenism is just sad. It seems the same odious tracking methods used by your high school in the 1960’s is being applied to Ms. Crank present day. Ms Crank has the intellectual capacity, the drive, the desire and the time to devote to her civic volunteerism. This should be applauded, not questioned. To quote you: “I would hope Ms. Crank had not been appointed to serve because she was a minority, to make the board look diverse”, is just head shaking sad – especially from a self identifying woman of color. Wow.

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  2. Theresa, you spoke from your heart, your soul, and your experience, thank you for speaking out. Don’t let others try to intimidate you, what you say has value and truth. You have courage, as the PC police want to keep we who are “colorful” in line (not happening).

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  3. The complaint that the other Progressive candidates for city council won but Ms. Crank did not because of her race is specious; several other Progressive White candidates also lost. However, I do think Ms. Crank is quite right about the outcome of the election but not the part about racism. She is right that Edmonds is not as Progressive as she thinks. Many people with whom l discussed the slate for the city council said they would vote for those candidates they thought were least Progressive. They, and l, hoped that the candidates we did choose would be less likely to bring the same Progressive agenda to Edmonds that has resulted in the squalor, mayhem , loss of public order, violence, crime and disrespect for the citizens and property owners that we have seen in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, L.A. and too many more. Ms. Crank’s accusation that Edmonds is a racist community is unfounded and unfair. She lost because of her perceived politics not her race. The candidates were roughly equivalent in competence and If Ms. Crank had been seen as less Progressive than her opponent, l and others would have certainly voted for her and she may well would have won.

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  4. Articles are written and comments are taken, and then dialogue begins. It seems that politics and elections are not for anyone who lacks the talent (not skill) to engage the voters. It would seem that most often it is better to be male, 6 ft. tall, have lots of hair and teeth, wear expensive suits. If I have offended anyone it is not intended. Women in elected office is gaining momentum. Seattle has had two women Mayor and Edmonds has had none. I am glad that Alicia Clark ran for office. I hope that all the persons who have so much to say on this issue, will focus on the important city council meeting that is occurring tonight regarding; funding for water waste, storm sewers, taxes. It is easy to criticize, but it is better to improve politics and our government’s responsibilities, and our responsibilities to question and support good governance.

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    1. Seattle also had a gay mayor who ended up being a sexual predator, despite all the warnings. I’m the first to say big D democracy is fallible, and that there are real biases. I just dont see how being gay or a woman is a virtue unto itself. In the case of Ed Murray, he and those who supported him set gay people back.

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  5. Edmonds has had three women Mayors: Alice Kerr (1925-1927); Laura Hall (1992-1995); and Barb Fahey (1996-1999).

    And it is Ms. Alicia Crank, not Clark.

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