Letters to the Editor

Diversity: Except Tacoma, Washington’s very white

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News Tribune editorial page editor Matt Misterek explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.
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News Tribune editorial page editor Matt Misterek explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.

Let’s be honest. Diversity in the Pacific Northwest is lacking and we need to talk about it.

I’ve tried to wrap my brain around why this is. I hear politicians talking about diversity. I see nonprofits and advocacy groups striving to make the change a reality, and believe good work is being done.

However, as a person of color, I must say that running into other POC – black people in particular – feels like a rare unicorn sighting.

As a former Olympian and frequent Seattle visitor, I wondered: “Where are all the people of color?”

The answer: Tacoma. The people of color are here, and most (in my experience) are transplants. When asked, “How do you like it here?” the answer is always the same: “It’s different.” That’s code for “it’s very white.”

With the intentions of Washington’s political landscape so clearly in support of diversity, why is the reality so juxtaposed? Is Washington hiding behind white liberalism?

Lana McPherson, Tacoma

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