Letter: Brentwood has Done Little to Address Racism in Our Community, July 21 Panel Discussion Set

Ariel Ryan

20

The following letter was submitted by Ariel Ryan who announced a panel discussion with teachers and students set for July 21 at City Park in Brentwood after the lack of response by the city of Brentwood, surrounding cities and the school districts.

Dear Community:

In response to the lack of acknowledgement and action by the school districts in the City of
Brentwood (and surrounding cities), the community is invited to Brentwood City Park on
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 to have an open discussion with teachers and students on racism in our community and schools.

Social distancing will be required, as we aim to hold a discussion panel that prompts serious
reflection and seek change. There is an undeniable presence of division that must be addressed beginning with consistent means of dialogue and followed by a clear implementation of change.

To what extent said change is carried out is up for the bargaining, but the denial of the hardships of any resident in this community based on the racism carried out in this town will no longer be acceptable. Silence will no longer be tolerated as we will begin to advocate for those who continue to be victims of systematic racism. It is time for all of us to start caring about all of us.

Through the testimonies of members of the community and students (past and present), there appears to be deep-rooted problems in our educational system that continues to be enabled by the Superintendents and School Boards in place. For decades, race related issues have been arising in our schools, and little has been done to an effort to create change. Students’ lives are being negatively affected and that responsibility to create change falls on all of us.

At this present time, it is blatantly clear that the way in which the Liberty Union School District and Brentwood Union Elementary School District’s educational system depicts diversity and history is done in a way so clandestine that the general population is almost unaware to its negative implications. Man-made ignorance generated by providing educators, parents and students with the incorrect tools to combat racism and miseducation in the classroom is an issue
at large.

How we are having our students learn this year is just as important as what they are learning. Consequently, I ask the community to ask themselves the following questions:

  1.  Do I approach conversations of race from a place of empathy and understanding or a place of defense and dismissiveness?
  2. How has my proximity to whiteness affected the way that I prioritize talking about racial
    issues?
  3. How do I support Black, Indigenous, and POC voices in my community to have their stories and experiences heard? Does it matter?
  4. What books and stories do I read and discuss that assist me in understanding other races/ethnicities? Are they written by scholars, professionals and those who have lived
    through those experiences?

Most importantly, I ask Dana Eaton, Eric Volta, Mayor Bob Taylor and any individual interested and/or considering a seat on any board or council in our community to take a moment and think about the questions and how they would respond if asked in a public setting.

Finally, I am cognizant of the fact that school districts are focused on the impact of COVID-19 and the impacts it is having on schools and its students. I understand the hard work that is being done for students and working tirelessly to adhere to the new “state of normal”. However, we are also in a time of heightened racial tensity, and its absolutely critical to consider how the most current modern events and discussions are having an effect on our community.

Sadly, it has been well over 30 days since the first peaceful protest that touched in the City of
Brentwood. Since then, communities across the country have been addressing race, anti-racism and inequality in institutions and households everywhere. But Brentwood and surrounding areas has done little, if anything, to address racism. We need some type of movement. We need a change.

I am disappointed in the lack of efforts by our community leaders and the school’s districts for the lack of urgency to address this issue in an open and transparent way. My hope is these panel discussions with teachers and students can be the start of change as the community becomes more aware of what is actually happening within our community and schools.

Sincerely,
Ariel Ryan

If You Go:
Brentwood City Park
July 21, 2020 at 6:00 pm
Social Distancing will be required (a lawn chair is suggested)

For more information or questions:
Business: [email protected]
Instagram: @Advocatesforracialsocialequity
Personal : [email protected]

 

 

20 COMMENTS

  1. I have been here for over thirty years. I am also a minority. I have never seen or experienced racial anything in Brentwood for this period of time. Although Stirring the pot surely will create something. Sad.
    Hopefully it will be positive.

  2. I’m a minority too and I’ve been in Brentwood for just over 4 years. I’ve NEVER experienced any racial issue from ANYONE in this city. The police are extra nice (a little too nice, if you ask me). My neighbors all fall on the spectrum of extra nice to jerks, but that’s to be expected in any community.
    Please, please, please stop trying to sow division among us. I hope more people will be bold enough to speak up against this cult-like mentality that has gripped America.

  3. I don’t doubt the letter writer’s sincerity, but I find the letter extremely nonspecific about the alleged failings of the school districts.

    • TSG, I don’t think the police, police unions, or the privatized industrial prison system in this “land of the free”
      need anymore help with creating the “perception of systematic racism.” You redneck supremacists have been cutting the work out for yourself all along. Take the hood off an get some fresh air for once.

      • So-called Pastor, you do the typical radical left wing thing, calling people names, in this case “redneck supremacists”. Take a step back and accept the fact that the USA is the least racist country in the world. What BLM and people like you try to do is making the people believe it is one of the most racist countries. You’re so wrong, and the people get it.

      • Maynard, for a “pastor” you certainly indulge in a lot of insults and name-calling rather than rational discussion of issues. An old expression comes to mind: “Physician, heal thyself first.”

        • Maynard is no pastor, he is a resident troll who likes to rile people up…..don’t be fooled. He took his name from the lead singer of Tool. He more than likely lives with his mommy, eating Cheetos and hurling insults at people from behind the safety of his computer screen, trying to make up for his small wiener. Maynard IS a tool, you guys are just arousing him by responding to his schtick.

  4. For those of you who are saying that this letter “sows division” or causes “white guilt”.
    How could you possibly invalidate the cries of help from another citizen of Brentwood? If you want to hear the “specifics” of “alleged racism” show up to the panel, close your mouths and open your ears. If you truly love this town, you’ll want to make it better for everyone.

    * also note to minorities commenting, stand by your brothers and sisters who say they are hurting. Especially your Black brothers and sisters. It is difficult to speak out and personally hurtful that you think you have the right to invalidate the experiences of another human being.

  5. The racism is sooo clandestine, people can’t even see it? Maybe they can’t see it because it’s not there! Definition: “racist: a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.” Brentwood is obviously NOT racist!! We now have a new definition of racism so subtle and nuanced, it’s the whole fabric of our society, and everyone is guilty unless you agree. This racism is the new mccarthyism.

  6. Yep, sounds like white liberal guilt to me. From a black man’s perspective good luck with this ridiculous meeting.

    In my experience white liberals are the most condescending, racist people in this country and the sad thing is they are too stupid to realize it!!!!!

  7. Ariel’s Comments were heart breaking. She is a beautiful person. All of her allegations should be looked into and teachers/ students in her class interviewed. I would hope there are two stories to this. She gives teachers and years of issues. It would not be hard to follow up on. I would really like to hear more from all involved. When I was in high school in the 80’s I had a total different experience then what I am hearing. Makes me wonder.

  8. Ohhhh stop the bs Elizabeth your obviously a liberal. The residents in the city of Brentwood don’t need this crap. We moved to Brentwood for a reason. The person that wrote the letter is trying to shit disturb and bring unwanted liberal propaganda to Brentwood. Like the people above stated there’s not even racism in Brentwood and all this call to meet and discuss it is dumb. All she’s trying to do is start a race war using liberal propaganda. The people that are really discriminated against are white people. It’s a crime to be white and speak Your mind because suddenly your racist for saying anything to do with race. Minorities get great union jobs. And I’m assuming your black because of your little comment at the end basically gives it away. Funny how black people always wanna play the race card to get what they want. Funny how they wanna sit on welfare and state assistance and we see them walking around with high end clothing, shoes, cars, beats headphones on. If you ask me and others.. your the privileged ones because you sit on your behinds all day and milk the system instead of people that actually need it. GET IT STRAIT NO ONE IN BRENTWOOD WANTS ANYTHING TO DO WITH BLM OR ANY OTHER CRIMINAL GROUP THAT WANT TO STEAL AND DAMAGE EVERYTHING. PEOPLE MOVE TO BRENTWOOD TO GET AWAY FROM THAT AND THE PROBLEMS THAT COME WITH IT. WE DID NOT PAY BETWEEN 400,000 and to over 1 million dollars for our homes to deal with problematic groups like those. Also before you bs and say I’m racist I’m not !!! I’m telling the truth and if you and your people don’t like it that isn’t my problem. DEAL WITH IT.

    • Thank you Lee. I’m black and I agree 100% with everything you said.

      BLM is a domestic terrorist organization and should be treated as such. ALL LIVES MATTER!!!!

  9. To Elizabeth who said: “* also note to minorities commenting, stand by your brothers and sisters who say they are hurting. Especially your Black brothers and sisters. It is difficult to speak out and personally hurtful that you think you have the right to invalidate the experiences of another human being”

    It is also personally hurtful to think that this “experience” you speak of MUST be protested by everyone else, thereby invalidating our OWN experience of living here. Just saying, If we must stand by our brothers and sisters just because we are a minority or black, isn’t that racist too

  10. Where in the letter is BLM mentioned? I see Alot of fake profiles claiming to be POC. Are you all mad that she’s talking about it or the way she’s talking about it? Sounds like Alot of people want her to stfu to make you all feel comfortable.

  11. Racism is not something that is created or suddenly discovered. It’s produced by evil and resides in one’s heart. It cuts in all ways regardless of one’s skin color. Don’t let evil control your heart.

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