Letter: A Better Laguna – We Refuse to Segregate our Concerns

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Thanks to Jean Hastings Ardell for her column on “Black Current Events Month.” We are making racial progress, but it is because of those who work to make our society better. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was long reviled in the United States, but now we honor him. Racial justice and anti-racism require sustained, hard work, here, in our time. The different reality of driving and walking while Black in this country is real. When I invite my students from UC Irvine to our house, I know that white students feel comfortable walking to the Top of the World. My Black students do not feel so free based on their life experience. That will not change until we all change our attitudes and our hearts. Jean’s column sparked a haiku this morning.

Strolling the streets

No neighbor calling police

Imagine peace.

Thanks too to Trudy Josephson for her column “Before There Was Black Lives Matter, There was Arnold Hano.” This should be memorialized. What a powerful story of our town’s heritage and of Arno, who founded Village Laguna and who just turned 99. It reminded me of this quote from MLK in response to why he was getting involved on social issues other than race (or in Arnold’s case, in issues other than historical and environmental protection): “I am not going to segregate my moral concerns.”

Gregory Shaffer, Laguna Beach

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