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  • Writer's pictureHeather Payeur

A Letter to the Editor

I recently took a course about identifying and fighting inequity where we explored simple ways to interrupt biased narratives. By interrupting the narrative, even just slightly, we create cracks that allow us to begin breaking down inequity.

Writing a letter to the editor of your local news publication is one simple example. Below is the letter I wrote to address a toxic talking point I keep hearing. Fun fact: the 'letter to the editor' section in my paper only allows 250 words. What a challenge to make a compelling argument in so few words!

I am sharing this because I hope you'll give it a try or at least consider ways you can act in your own community. Feel free to use my letter below and send it in to your paper.


Is Ignorance the Goal?

It’s hard to ignore the increasing volume of political talking points as we edge closer to the 2024 election. Politics are strange. That is a point I’m confident we can all agree on some level, though we might say it differently. For example, by what I say next you’ll probably surmise my political affiliation and even if I told you that you were wrong, you likely wouldn’t believe me. That is strange.

Woke vs Anti-woke; I’ve heard and seen this plastered all over and spewed from the mouths of many. Is this really what we are fighting about now?

The term woke at its core is about awareness, alertness. The African American community began using this term to encourage awareness of the political and social challenges they faced, many of which persist today. This is not an opinion; there is an abundance of data that unequivocally proves long standing disparities.

Why would alignment with a political party mean you reject awareness? Is allowing a politician to co-opt a word and repurpose it to alienate, isolate, and dehumanize your fellow neighbor really a good idea?

We may not agree on the path to solutions, but we all agree there are problems to address. Let’s focus on having meaningful dialogue instead of throwing metaphorical political excrement at each other.

No politician cares more about our community than we; it’s time we stop allowing them to set the narrative by dividing us.

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