My last word
By Dave Hull
September 28, 2007
This is probably a mistake to wade in on this issue again, but
because Mr. Jethani mentions me in particular I felt I needed
to reaffirm my statement that the jewelry store issue is not
about racism. Now, does that mean racism doesn t exist here
in River City? It would extremely naive of me to even suggest
such a thing. It would be tantamount to the statement made that
there are no Gays in Iran. It is also stupid of me to think
that racist people won t vote in a racist fashion on this issue.
I have a bit of experience with racism. I have been married
to an incredible woman of Haida decent for 34 years. Believe
me; I have seen the ugly face of racism that exists in this community.
By the way, my wife loves jewelry.
This initiative, in my opinion, is about people wanting their
town back , pure and simple. Who took the town away? Well,
that movement began years before you came to Ketchikan, Mr. Jethani.
It began with the people who put the traffic light at the intersection
of Dock and Front Street, and the people who built those traffic
islands in the middle of Tongass Avenue to teach us how to drive.
It involves Louisiana Pacific, who first threatened to shut
the pulp mill down if the community didn t support them, and
in the end did shut it down despite the support. Ketchikan began
a metamorphosis from that point until now. The direction of
which followed the dollar sign. Well DUH!
This evolution has been unsettling to many who have lived here
most of their lives, for me all of my adult life. People who
came later just don t have a clue. However, regardless of popular
perception, the late comers also are not the problem and neither
are you, Mr. Jethani. The problem is that change is an unsettling
process, and there are many people here who want it back the
way it was and see this initiative as a way to make that happen.
It s unfortunate that it is also the worse possible way to make
that happen. My position on the issue should be clearer by now.
As I stated in my first letter, I don t particularly like how
Ketchikan has changed either. I suppose I should reiterate that
while I don t like getting old, I appreciate the fact that I
am. I m sure you can follow my meaning. Ketchikan has changed
and will keep changing in many ways I don t want it to go. That
does not amount to racism. It s more fear than anything else,
In conclusion, I, Me, Number 1, don t care if your name is Jethani,
Alberto, Ahmadinejad or Clem Kadiddlehopper, it doesn t change
the fact that you are entitled to make a living in the lawful
format of your choice. People who don t like your jewelry store
also have the right to figure out something else to take your
place and then compete with you for the people s business. That
s the American way.
The dichotomy here is that this initiative process is also the
American way. We have the right in this country to choose to
nail one foot to the ground and travel in circles for evermore
after that. It is hard to be a racist when you are your own
And that concludes my comments on this subject. The sound you
hear in the background is just me falling off my soap box .
About:" Ketchikan resident for over 35 years."
Received September 26, 2007
- Published September 28, 2007
& Racism By Ravi Jethani - Ketchikan, AK
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