Democratic Socialists of Klamath Falls response to the City Council Postponement of the Equity Task Force Resolution - November 16, 2020
The reluctance of the Klamath Falls City Council to pass the resolution of the Equity Task Force on November 16th, acknowledging racism and income inequality as a social crisis, was demonstrative of the lack of awareness of the lives of non-dominant groups. The reduction of social well-being to economic incentives confines individual worth to profits. Equity Task Force members stated that acknowledging and dealing with racism is simply the “right thing to do,” though if this must be reduced to economic motives, its passage would shine brightly on city visitors and leadership, enabling a more welcoming community atmosphere.
Equity Task Force members and citizens presented documentation and heartbreaking testimony, yet still faced the reticence of the council. Their actions lend credence to the phrase “the fish does not know the water it swims in.” Responses to Black and Indigenous speakers were met with “I’m sorry you experienced this,” though it was more important that the city not ‘look bad.’ The City Council, save one voice and the voices of many testifying, choose momentary confirmation bias, comfort and privilege, rather than acknowledge what the Black, Brown, Indigenous, and the poor of our city face daily and generationally.
Rural America and Rural Oregon facing a crisis of ‘false consciousness,' in striving to amend ourselves to “business incentive” we forgo confronting the underlying conditions that perpetuate our ills. More private investment is an ineffective band aid to our generational concerns of poverty, drug use, homelessness, racism and discrimination. This narrative is intensified when our present state representatives use nationalistic religion, feigning ignorance of racism, and the surface level concern of gun rights to distract from the needed wealth and power redistribution to those most effected, including the generational poverty of our poorer white citizens.
My struggle is your struggle is our struggle; to quote Audre Lorde, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”
KF-DSA supports the passage of the Equity Task Force commission for Klamath Falls, and rejects calls for profits over people.