Saturday, February 09, 2008

Minorities say subtle racism remains, bias shows daily.

LEWISTON (AP) - Minorities in the area say several recent incidents of hate crimes show racial insensitivity still remains.They say American Indians, blacks and whites still put up walls because of ignorance or insensitivity.

Wendy Diessner of the Lewiston-Clarkston YWCA, which serves as a clearinghouse, says her agency fields about 10 complaints a year of racism that aren't felony malicious harassment.

37-year-old Jeanette Weaskus is the daughter of a white mother and a Nez Perce father. She studies race issues as a Washington State University doctoral student. She says many people believe they are good, but can be subtly racist.

Dean Davis, who is black, says racism is discrete. He says the recent case of a mother and daughter shouting "white power" during a fight with an American Indian teenage girl shows progress is slow to come.

Alan Marshall, a Nez Perce social scientist and professor at Lewis-Clark State College, says people of European ancestry may unintentionally say or do things that hurt American Indians. He says the frequency of racially charged incidents has declined as tribal influence has grown in the last three decades

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