I appreciated the June 3 Pulse podcast about police brutality. Police brutality and the many policies that sustain systemic racism are topics well worth our discussion here in (as the podcast called it) the “Door County bubble.”
However, I’d like to caution us against seeing Door County as a “bubble” when it comes to racism, which of course runs the gamut from well-intentioned, deeply ingrained bias (I’d place myself on this end of the spectrum) to blatant bigotry. Many brown and black people live in and visit this overwhelmingly white county, and during the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to hear a bit about how uncomfortable those folks’ experiences here can be.
For those of us who (like me) are white, our county’s homogeneity certainly doesn’t reduce our innate biases against people of color. On the contrary, I suspect it amplifies them.
I hope the Pulse and the peninsula at large – our business owners, elected officials, clergy, artists and others – can begin to reckon courageously and persistently with the ways in which race affects everyday life for Door County visitors and residents. I think our community has a lot of work to do. I know I do.
Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin