Thank you, Travis Matthews, for your April 25 letter to the editor. We regret the racism that you and others have experienced in our community. The Grand Rapids community needs to acknowledge that racism exists here. What you have experienced is real, hurtful and wrong.
We all have unconscious biases based on our lived personal experiences. Each of us needs to recognize and deal with that. The people in our community expressing their very obvious bias in negative ways are simply wrong. They reflect negatively on our community.
As you point out, Travis, the Grand Rapids community needs to do more than say it wants to be welcoming. We need to live and behave in welcoming ways. We are grateful that many people supported you with water, food and signs of support. We support you, too, and with your help and the Black Student Alliance, we’ll look for more tangible ways to do so in the future