Nancy Goodloe

Support Local Journalism


Subscribe


Many words could be used to provide a framework for the Ellensburg City Council’s decision to support a community of inclusion, diversity and equity. The most powerful words are those which people have recently written about their experience living in our community. This is what it means to be a person of color living in Ellensburg. These comments were received after the City Council authorized the painting of Black Lives Matter on Fifth Avenue in front of City Hall.

. . .

I would like to say as a mixed-race family living in this community I have been on the receiving end of the overwhelming volume of racism rooted in this community. It’s heartbreaking to know how much potential this community has yet it harbors so much hate. ... A(a)t dinner one night my 9-year-old daughter asked out of the blue if she will die because she is Black. With no air in lungs and tears in my eyes we began to have a conversation no 9-year-old should ever have to have. ... Show them they are safe here.

. . .

I am a white (lesbian) woman with family members of color. My wife and I have two adult Black children and many Black grandchildren. I have been battling racism since 1985. I am incredibly grateful for every positive act our elected officials make against racism and bigotry. ... We don’t want violence here, we don’t want our community hurt, we simply want understanding.

. . .

My daughter, a strong Black woman, has lived in this community for years. She was brought over here by her husband, who was born and raised here. Every single day she faces racist comments, snickers, glares and more in this community and it is exhausting. Her job puts her in front of every kind of people in this community, and many are not very kind. She has to come home every night and keep that sadness and frustration from over flowing onto her children and husband. So, when she heard about this installation coming, it was a breath of fresh air for her, some support in a vastly different world than what we white people see.

. . .

I have lived in Ellensburg for 7 years and have experienced everyday racism, linguicism, and intimidation as a Mexican American, U.S. citizen, registered voter, and CWU professor. My students and friends have shared many painful, traumatic experiences while living in this small town. The BLM mural will not miraculously fix Ellensburg’s racism and discrimination overnight but it can be symbolic of our commitment to begin to promote equity, diversity, and community.

. . .

Demographically I just want to say that I have lived in Ellensburg for 38 of my 52 years, and my family has first moved here in the 1940s as dairy farmers, so I truly feel that I am “from here” and not some sort of “liberal transplant.” I am a white middle class man, raised in this valley and have always believed our people had a good balance of “common sense” values and politics. But lately I have been shocked by some of the casual racism I still see around me. It truly lifts my heart to know that our city council understands the importance of supporting (all) and is acting (in) such a genuine and sincere way.

. . .

One of the hardest things for me about coming back with my children to this county that was my childhood home, after 15 years living in a more racially diverse place ... was giving up living in a more diverse community. I celebrate and welcome diversity and hope Ellensburg will be a safe community for people of all races to call home.

. . .

Social justice work by nature comes with pushback — and that should not prevent us from engaging with the sacred and difficult work it asks of us. It requires us to be uncomfortable, to have hard conversations, and most of all — to deeply examine our own values and how they play out in the world each day. ... By showing solidarity with social justice work, you are making known the values of the community. You are broadcasting our high ideals as a people to do better, to love one another, to value life.

Listen to these voices. We can do better.

Bruce Tabb is the mayor of the city of Ellensburg. Nancy Goodloe is mayor pro tempore, city of Ellensburg.

Recommended for you

Comments

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.