What does Asheville’s power structure still not get about race in 2019? We asked Libby Kyles, chief executive officer of the YWCA of Asheville and WNC, for her thoughts on the matter.
- Hiring someone non-white does not address racial inequities. From the city to the school system, there is the misconception that if we hire someone nonwhite, the racial disparities will disappear and the achievement gap will disappear.
- Burdening people of color with the task of fixing racism and issues of inequities is not only unrealistic, but it continues to inflict trauma on people of color. Asking those without power to create the solutions without resources is just wrong!
- Equity is not a buzzword. Equity can’t happen without action, and action requires the sharing of power!
- White fragility is real, and because the power structure doesn’t acknowledge the privileges associated with existing while white, it is unable to understand the need for racial healing.
- Asheville’s power structure still does not get that it needs to invest heavily, with both resources and funding, in communities and people of color. It is not enough to recognize that redlining and urban renewal had a negative impact on people of color, but there must be some effort to set right what went terribly wrong!