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SEPTEMBER 29, 1997


Response to racism

  My thoughts are with the family, new to our community, whose daughter on her way home from school was taunted and humiliated by local people. (letter to the editor 9/15/97). Although I'm not a person of color, the same thing happened to me as a child when my family moved from the East Coast to the West Coast. Now in middle age I can still remember the pain of being taunted on the way home from school because my clothes, my speech, whatever, was different from the others. My mother, coming to pick me up in her car, found me in tears with a pack of hateful acting schoolmates at my heels. I'll never forget her looking at them and saying, "I'm ashamed of you."
   I don't have children in school but my son was taught to respect all people from the inside out. Our home was always filled with a group of young people as diverse as the world now.
   Hopefully, the young lady who has had such a bad introduction into our community will find the support of others who have the maturity to appreciate her for the special person she is. Hopefully, all parents will think about teaching the qualities of what makes up a human being. If your children act wrongly don't be afraid to say, "I'm ashamed of you." We're all in this together and I'm sure this child no matter what size, shape or color is going to be of great value to our community.
   My family welcomes you, Sweetheart, and we're looking forward to hearing good things about your accomplishments.
   Melinda L. Scott
   Woodinville, WA