Racism not the motive.
By Susan Bachant
September 29, 2007
Mr. Jethani, I don't think the jewelry store petition has the
owners race as a motive and it makes me sad that you think so.
I can certainly see how you would come to that conclusion since
the stores themselves pose no harm to the community or it's customers.
So what else could be the motive? Well Ketchikan is a funny
town filled with spirited people who seem to resent people from
"down south" coming in and telling them/us what to
do, or what is best for us, etc.
When I arrived here 14 years ago K town was a cute little community
of very friendly people. The downtown area was very quaint
and we had variety stores, record stores, art stores, clothing
stores, tourist shops, a barber shop, a photo shop, and yes
a few (and I mean 2 or 3) jewelry stores. It really was quite
cute, very friendly and open all year around. Look at the
same area today. The variety store is gone, although we still
have Downtown Drug, and so is the record store and the clothing
store and the barbershop and a few others. Yes business is a
hard thing and I can see why these stores closed. It happens.
What however has replaced most of these stores? Jewelry stores,
and not just one or two. Do the majority of these stores stay
open all year long? Nope. Is there good reason why? You
bet there is. They could not stay in business because there
are not that many locals buying jewelry on a daily basis.
When people talk of "Taking our town back" I believe
what they mean is that they are desirous of what used to be and
being able to enjoy downtown Ketchikan all year around. Do
I think limiting the number of a certain type of store is the
answer to our woes? No. I think we would be better off saying
you had to stay open all year long or at least most of it which
would then be self limiting. It costs far less to just rent
the space and have no customers than it does to rent the space,
pay employees and the lights and only have a few customers.
So I guess my point is to please try not to take it personally,
although it does effect you personally. I don't think it is
aimed at your nationality but instead at wishing for what was
of the past. The people of K Town are still a friendly bunch
and their intention is good just maybe going about it the wrong
About: " Lived and
worked in K-Town all year around for 14 years."
Received September 27, 2007
- Published September 29, 2007
& Racism By Ravi Jethani - Ketchikan, AK
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