Local News

Fayetteville Wants Feedback On State Of Race Relations

Posted September 21, 2000

— Everyone has an opinion. The city of Fayetteville wants to hear yours. The Human Relations Commission placed a suggestion box in City Hall to hear your ideas on improving racism in the community.

There is no easy solution, but city leaders hope opening the dialogue at City Hall will make Fayetteville a better place to live. Suggestions on improving racism were left in an undoing racism suggestion box.

"Any problem of racism is a problem, and you can't measure how bad it is," says Faith Thompson, interim director of human relations. "I think with open dialogue, we can improve on what we are doing."

The city is participating in aNational League of Cities Institute Campaign. The NLC asked communities to think of ways to promote racial justice. The suggestion box at City Hall was one idea. Fayetteville residents had mixed reactions about the new idea.

"It's a bad idea, you can't change people's minds," says Elizabeth McKellip.

"I think it's a good idea. Our community can come together and be one," says Adrian Matthews.

One idea or many. Leaders hope they can make a difference.

"You got to talk. People who don't talk are afraid, and fear is what probably makes racism worse than anything else," says George Creak.

Mayor Milo McBride also declared a day in September as Undoing Racism Day. Reuben Pettiford decided to submit a comment based on that.

"It said one day, and it should be all year, not just one day. That's what I wrote," he says.

The suggestion box has been in City Hall for just two days, but will remain out for awhile. Ideas that require policy change could be taken to the city council. Others may just be put in place.

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