I am a Black woman and have lived in Portland for 17 years. Throughout my life I’ve experienced racism.

We have to find a way to move forward. There are always going to be remnants of the past to remind us of the ugliness and pain. It is those remnants that need to remain so we do not allow the past to repeat itself.

Reaching to the past can reopen old wounds, but it can also help us to heal, if we recognize it for what it is: our past, and a past that can lead to healing. When looking at our past, if we only see through eyes of anger, can we move forward? Can we heal?

We as a nation need to be able to look at the past without anger and use it as a tool of education toward a solution. We must turn from violence and realize that no matter the color of our skin, the choice of religion, type of clothes we wear, our music or economic status, we are all human beings, equal in the sight of God.

Understand that survival will only come as a united people, so let’s use the past – not anger – to educate, to stand taller as a nation and to heal, not destroy.

Leana Good-Simpson
Portland


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