Film presents a vital message | LETTER TO THE EDITOR
September 30, 2011 · Updated 8:01 AM
To the editor:
The Freeland Library recently hosted a screening and public discussion of a new PBS documentary, “Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness,” which tells the story of a town taking action after a local immigrant was killed in an attack by seven teenagers. This documentary also will be aired on public television (KCTS Channel 9) at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9.
Many of us may not be aware of overt actions in our community against people of different race, belief, sexual orientation, age or economic background; however, such actions likely occur. We need to better inform ourselves of the nature and extent of bias, fear and intimidation within our community. Only then can we begin to address these issues through awareness, communication and action.
A focal point of “Not In Our Town” is the need to become better informed about what young people perceive about people different from themselves and how they may be influenced by what they hear in our community and media concerning people of different background or position within our community.
I strongly encourage our school board and teachers to review this film and endorse it for viewing and discussion within our middle and high schools.
The film is a reminder of what can happen if we are not aware of how our young people are interpreting messages they receive about people who may be different from themselves. It shows an example of the benefits of community leadership that engenders opportunities for safe and effective communication among different segments of our population; and also the concerns and ideas to address them.
Last, it expresses the importance of simple action by each of us to reach out to members of our community we may not normally engage with to start a dialogue and maintain a foundation of support that embraces diversity in our community.