per·cep·tion: an attitude or understanding based on what is observed or thought
Racine elected officials, Downtown Business Improvement District, and the leadership of the local branch of the NAACP, has a great opportunity to right what is perceived as a wrong.
Alderman Michael Shields, who is president of Racine’s NAACP, said in the Journal Times Thursday, a copy of a report leaked online last week accusing city leaders of intentionally trying to keep minorities out of Downtown Racine was intended to start a discussion with business leaders.
The report, written by an unnamed author, contained allegations that highlight what appears to be a problem in Downtown Racine - perception.
The ten-page report has stirred up controversy in the daily media and on local blogs sites. African American bar owners located in the so-called entertainment district feel they are being target by the Downtown Racine Corporation Association and the city’s Public Safety and Licensing committee
Other business owners and Downtown residents perceive that problems around these bars make the area unsafe. However during last few weeks there have been several indents at other location and not just Park 6 and a Place on 6.
Shields said the report from the Racine Branch NAACP was intended to address some of the concerns about perceptions of Downtown. "Any time you deal with racial issues it's sensitive. If there is a perception that something is wrong, that's even more reason why you should want to sit down and talk," Shields said Thursday. He maintains that the information in the report is correct and he and the organization will stand by the report and its contents.
We feel that the NAACP's desire to be seated and have dialog with the decision-makers of this town is the first step in the right direction.
During the past three weeks we have walked Main and 6th Street to observe what is occurring during weekend nights. We have come to the conclusion that closing businesses will not fix the problem; it will only put a band-aid on a injury which warrant more participation from our community.
We believe that a strong presence of police walking the beat can bring to an end the problems of people loitering.
Some owner in the 500 block of 6th Street said that they would be willing to foot the bill. 2nd District Alderman Eric Marcus, who is a member of the committee, has also spent time walking downtown on weekends, said that he will suggest that city council look at new ways to look at solving the problem.
All the Insider News care about is that the issue in the report be address. We join with Shields and pay little attention to those who have blame worthless the report because of the way it was written. We also pay no attention to the hate statement that being said on the blog.
We applaud Shield for what he believes is the right time for city leaders to address the issue of race relationship downtown. "It's to generate discussion on the perception of what is happening in Racine. At this point I'm looking for a conversation to address how we can come together collectively and how we can address any issues there might be in terms of racial disparity, " conclude Shields