June 8, 2019
I’ve been reading the vicious and mean spirited attack on school board president Julie Doan. This apparently comes from some minority parents. Ms. Doane’s crime was trying to empathize by relating her own experience of “driving while blonde.” Why is her experience any less important than another’s experience? That’s what she experienced. How does that reflect bias, ignorance and a lack of competence for leadership in the Lee’s Summit community? I can tell you as the brother of two blonde sisters, that’s a very real experience, with jokes and innuendos. This can cause very real self-esteem issues. I can tell you about my experience as the new kid in school. My father was transferred every two years for work. As the new kid I was tested by bullies, picked last at recess, ate along at lunch and excluded from the popular kids group. How do you think that makes a child feel? I had to prove myself to be included. That’s my experience. It’s no more or less important than another’s. Minority groups seek equality and inclusion. How about practicing that as well? Everyone has an experience that belongs to them. It’s just different, not more or less important. Calling someone bias, racist or intolerant just because they don’t agree with you or have a different experience is just wrong. I hear about “white privilege.” What is that? I started working at 11 years. I sold lemonade to workers after school. I mowed lawns. On snow days I shoveled driveways before playtime. I got my first real job at age 15 years working at Funhouse Pizza for 75 cents an hour. Next was Kroger at $1.37 ½ and hour and union dues came out of that. Next was the Raytown Parks Department for $1.50 an hour. I was just an average student and I worked for everything I got. I didn’t get every job I applied for, but my Eagle Scout badge did help. Later in life I finished two years of college that my employer helped pay for. I worked hard and after over 26 years I retired from that employer. I have a modest retirement and currently live in Lee’s Summit. I wasn’t privileged. I worked hard. I kept a neat appearance and I dressed appropriately. I earned it! Everyone deserves a seat at the table. Everyone deserves to have their experiences respected, as well as their opinions. Feel free to relate your experiences and express your opinions, but don’t disparage those who are different or disagree. Ms. Doane’s experience is very real. They made movies about it. “Legally Blonde” comes to mind.
Lee’s Summit, MO