Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Racism is alive in Pahrump!

I was deeply saddened when I heard about the little boy that died last week here in Pahrump. My own kids go to Floyd Elementary but didn't really know the kindergartener who died from complications associated with an asthma attack. My deepest condolences to the family through this difficult time. It's heartbreaking to lose a child and I hope I never have to go through what they must be dealing with right now.

One of our local, community advocates came forward to help raise money for the child's funeral expenses. This isn't the first time that Stephanie Lopez, founder of the hugely popular Facebook page "Positive Pahrump" has stepped forward to help someone in crisis here in Pahrump. Most recently she organized an ongoing joint effort with the local school district to educate school children about the negative side of bullying. She also organized a drive for Easter Baskets to collect and donate to less fortunate children. Last year Stephanie organized a failed recall against Nye County Assessor Shirley Matson who made some racial accusations about construction workers and while it was failed it drew a lot of attention in the community about racism here.

And so I was shocked when I read the first reader "comment" in the Pahrump Valley Times news article about the unfortunate incident regarding the child. Deborah wrote "Boy, it sure would be nice if this kind of compassion was extended to legal citizens and children here in the Valley and not always and ONLY supportive of non English speakers."

WHY do people here automatically assume that a non-English speaking poor family here is not legally in the U.S. ? This is clear and ugly racism.

Deborah then wrote "Once again Positive Pahrump ONLY supports who it deems politically correct." First, of course Positive Pahrump (PP) only supports who it deems politically correct and I would like to point out that, in my opinion, anything that is honorably charitable is politically correct. Second, Deborah seems to be suggesting that PP only supports causes that involve the Hispanic community, which if you followed PP on Facebook you'd know is completely untrue and unfair to accuse.

How many other people in our community feel the way that Deborah does? Why do you believe anyone here of Hispanic descent must be here illegally? How can people so blindly assume negative things about a group of people just because of their race? I am just appalled and embarrassed. I think you must be severely lacking in education, Deborah, because I can't imagine any other reason for your racial comments.

A local, less fortunate family here in Pahrump tragically lost a little boy last week. My heart goes out to them, Hispanic or otherwise. I applaud Stephanie for stepping up to unite the community to help those in need. You just keep doing what you do. =:^)

Update: The Pahrump Valley Times has removed the racial comment and replies to such.