“I’m not racist, but ...”

I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve thought and said that in the past. What about you?

To claim we aren’t racist is easy. It’s the rest of that statement that gets sticky. In Dubuque, the “but” often seems to be followed by, “They move here for housing.”

As the mother of three daughters, I know that if I couldn’t find an affordable place to live, I’d move anywhere so they would have a roof over their heads, anywhere they would get a decent education, anywhere they would be safe. Most mothers would.


I come from a family that has lived in Dubuque for five generations. Some of our black families have been in this country for 20 generations or more. During all those years, they certainly paid their dues!

Our city has always prided itself on being Christian. Maybe it’s time to dust off the old WWJD bracelets and seriously consider what Jesus would do. Aren’t we called to welcome and show compassion to everyone?

“All lives matter” is another easy statement. But if a person truly believes that, it requires stepping up to address the inequities, injustice and contempt people of color have had to endure for hundreds of years.

The events of the past few weeks have called us to examine our consciences and do what we can to set things right. The government can enforce change. What is also needed is heart-transformation, and that begins inside each of us.