It’s big news that the Republican National Convention will be in Cleveland, Ohio starting July 17, 2016. Oddly, this also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Hough riots. The Plain Dealer is planning a retrospective on the history and impact of those events. I was interviewed due to my series of blog posts on RustWire on being a white person in the African-American Hough neighborhood. It was an interesting chance to reflect on what has changed…and what hasn’t. I still 100% stand behind my statements that Hough is a fabulous place to live, and I would make the same choices again if I could.
As a result, I plan to revise and re-post that blog series right here in mid-July. Look for it!
I hope our RNC visitors, and counter-RNC guests, don’t ruin our peaceful track record since those historic events. In recent months we’ve seen both how the Cleveland Police have learned how to peacefully handle HUGE crowds, and how local Black Lives Matter activists have successfully called for peaceful dissent.
Personally, since writing that series I have lost my optimism that we have made any progress in racial attitudes in our country in the past 50 years. Even legal victories like the Voting Rights Act have been stripped of their power. But I also still firmly believe that our most effective strategy to combat the swelling division and hatred in our country is to respond with a consistent commitment to cross-cultural unity and civility. Hough has pulled itself up by its own bootstraps in the past 5 decades, and I personally refuse to lose all that progress over one bad toupee! And I will continue to work with people of any party who remain committed to liberty and justice for ALL, not just for people who look or think like me.