Let's turn the tables on those who would divide us

Feather Publishing

Over the last few weeks we have had to cover a spate of racially tinged controversies. A former coach, an African American, has sued Feather River College, alleging racial discrimination; another coach, a Native American, is on the verge of suing Plumas Unified School District, also for racial discrimination; and the district's business director is under attack for the racist slogans on the truck she sometimes drives to work.

This rash of events has us wondering: Is this who we are?

Granted, every community has a few who will choose the road to hate rather than the path to acceptance. But we don't think these events represent us as a whole.

If, as playwright Arthur Miller once said, art is "the revenge of the human spirit upon the short sighted," then those of us who choose acceptance have an opportunity for a little "revenge" next week.

Feather River College is sponsoring a musical production, "Kaleidoscope: A Celebration of Diversity," next Tuesday and Wednesday at the Town Hall Theatre in Quincy. The show will feature music and skits. It is a tribute to the memory of Lawrence Gonsalves, an African American man best known for his tenure at Les Schwab Tires. His daughter says he symbolized a "bridge between races. Though he was one of the few black residents of Plumas County, he didn't see the world in terms of color." All proceeds from the show will help endow a scholarship in his name at FRC.

Here is a constructive expression of freedom of speech (unlike the destructive expressions found on Nathan and Yvonne Bales' truck). Here is an effort to bring people together through music, to ennoble them through art, rather than divide them by color and denigrate them by race.

What better way to define who we are and what we believe in than to wholeheartedly support this creative endeavor by the young people in FRC's Diversity Club, Drama Club and Associated Students? Let's set a collective goal of selling out both shows.

If you can't make the show, you can still contribute to the scholarship fund. For an extra bit of "revenge," you might consider making your donation in the names of Nathan and Yvonne Bales.

Let's demonstrate that they are not us.

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