This is why we can’t allow racist or racially charged comments to go unchallenged. I should have addressed it head on during the meeting and not afterward. The note is being shared with permission of the sender. It has been made anonymous to protect her employment status.
Hello Mr. Wojcik,
I don’t know if you remember me – I work at [removed] and I’ve met you a couple times at [removed]. I read an article regarding the Monday’s city council meeting in Post Bulletin today, and thought I would send you a note.
Thank you so much for standing up for racism. I am born and raised in Japan. Whenever I see people using the word “Japs”, no matter what the contexts are, it leaves me an unsettling feeling. I don’t think Mr. Young felt anything when he used that word. He was not aware of anything at all , probably he wasn’t even being racist. However, I always feel that there is still a long way to go to wipe out the racism when people use racially offensive words unconsciously. I’m very glad that you raised your voice right away. This coming from you means a lot to many people including me, and that made people think and discuss about it – which is really important to fight against the racism.
It’s so interesting to see that people become so defensive in this country when any veterans are blamed. (I don’t think Post Bulletin wrote anything if Mr. Young was just a normal civilian.) I think Post Bulletin’s opinion column and many people in Rochester overreacted a bit much. Using social media during the meeting might have not been an appropriate behavior as a city official, but I still do appreciate you voicing your opinion publicly against racism.
I respect those that served. I will not tolerate racist comments. There is nothing that serves as a free pass to make these types of comments at a public meeting. As I said in my apology, I should have handled my response better. I apologize again.