REGISTER VIEWPOINT: Fighting racism is one-on-one

Racism is impersonal. It reduces a human being to the frequency of light his or her skin reflects, and admits to noth
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

Racism is impersonal.

It reduces a human being to the frequency of light his or her skin reflects, and admits to nothing more.

But the fight against it -- and it's one humanity is winning, despite the knuckle-dragging snark of those who believe themselves to be anonymous -- has to be very, very personal.

Organizations great and small have sprung up to fight it, but the only real progress against it has been when individuals decide they want to know more about a person than simple skin color.

That's where people like Tracey Shoemo and Larrick Zirkle and Jessica Ralph and Clifton and Tondra Frisby come in.

It's where we come in.

It's where you come in.

The people named took part in roundtable discussion featured on our front page Aug. 17. They're not members of some grand and glorious organization with a mission statement and a press package and a manifesto. They're people "from here" who wanted to stand solidly on common ground.

They wanted to talk. And more importantly, they want to do.

Some, particularly Tracey Shomeo, have done their fair share and then some of "doing." He's "Coach Shoemo" to many a Sandusky kid, encouraging and hectoring them, as all good coaches do, to reach down inside themselves to find the best.

Which, in a way, is what the roundtable talkers want Sandusky and environs to do.

Make no mistake, the battle against racism is -- slowly, painfully -- being won. It's taken the refusal, by individuals, to get wrapped up in skin color -- including theirs. It's taken the refusal to accept skin color as an excuse for inexcusable behavior -- including theirs.

But at the base of it all, it's taken individuals deciding for themselves that this simply won't do.

Which, when you think about it, is how any progress worth making ever gets made.