Stand up against racism

Brave. That’s the word we should use when describing the actions of the young lady who is speaking out against the racial intimidation she and others have been subjected to while attending Grand Haven High School.
Mar 7, 2013



That’s the word that describes the 15-year-old’s mother and other members of the community who are saying that more must be done to stomp out the ugly seed of racism that has sprouted in our community.


That’s the word to describe the actions of the teenagers who scrawled a hateful message on a school bus window, who wore KKK-like apparel inside and outside the high school, and sexually harassed the biracial student and her friend on the school bus.


That’s the word that best describes the more than 80 comments at written by current and former community members. Among the comments was this one from HavenDude:

“This is very concerning. My unease is that the Tri-Cities area is lacking diversity, although the surrounding areas are growing increasingly diverse. Yet the constant message is that we do not have a problem and everyone is welcome. I think it would be good for our community to have an open mind to the possible signals we send to people who are different. Will we have the courage to look deeper than our defensiveness and assumptions? Let's rise above this, Grand Haven! Let's not put a Band Aid on the issue and pretend this stuff doesn't happen here. Let's dig deeper. I feel terrible for this girl and hope that the school is truly putting actions to their words. I also hope the kids responsible will have a change of heart.”

These are the meaningful conversations that this community, parents and students must have to move forward.


That’s the key word here. What can, or should, be done to address this and other situations in our community?

In most cases, one could say these are kids saying ignorant things. But these kids have heard it from somewhere. For some reason, they think bullying and outright racist displays are acceptable, funny, or will elevate their stature in others’ eyes.

And that is what is not acceptable. It’s not acceptable in our schools, on our buses or in our community.

Take a stand. Be brave.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



Talk about beating a dead horse. This is the third article on one subject.


I could understand if this was about knitting, or oragami, or maybe even gardening. But come on; this is a pretty important subject right in our own back yard. It warrants discussion and that's what this is.


Well I guess its old to a person who has no heart and is racist...a lady on here named frankinstreetferry stated that men watched and targeted her and her bi racial daughter ( 5 year old) consisted. Who feels threatend by a child other than the ones who have the mind set to walk in the school and hurt them... come on give us a break! This lady can walk her child as she rides her bike without being harrassed..but yet when she leaves time for these neighbors to rally the troops(others in the neighborhood) to target and watch for her so they can once again try to intimidate her as her and her family enter back into their home.Its not right and more need to be done...She made a police report and the police did nothing...whats next! Freedom of speech is a great thing and we all have opinions that should be heard!The streets dont say WHITES only! Leave people alone its bullying and its not fair!


Well said! As a country we have come so far, and every day it is people like me (white) that are becoming the minority. I am happy for my children, who are half-Korean by blood, and who are among the increasing majority these days: mixed. I grew up in Grand Haven and love this town; it took a long time to convince my wife to move back here because she knew how little diversity there was here; she finally complied, thankfully. As horrible as these incidents are, it is good to see some positive outcome. We, as a community, are becoming more aware. We, as a community of individuals, continue to learn. Let us continue to prove Grand Haven as one of the greatest places to live in this country.


The members of the Tribune's Editorial Board are right to call for standing up against racism. They are right to praise Lisa Hall for requesting that the Obama administration investigate the Grand Haven school system for these instances of racist activities - after all, the school system has shown it is incapable of dealing with the situation on its own, having only subjected the student body to the ministrations of the Calling All Colors, Restorative Circles, Capturing Kids Hearts, Anti-Bullying/Bucs Above Bullying, Team GH and Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance’s Institute for Healing Racism programs.

The federal government, under President Obama, is taking more pro-active direct action to ensure anti-social behaviors are eliminated - the Department of Homeland Security recently purchased 2,700 Light-Armored Tanks to Go With Their 1.6 Billion Bullet Stockpile.

A few of these armored vehicles motoring down U.S. 31, making a right turn on Ferris, and circling around the High School parking lot should put the fear of the Lord in these unrepentant racist bullies!



I am shocked that this has happened in our Grand Haven schools. I am a graduate from the 80's and to hear these ignorant punks saying these things really angers me. I feel they have tainted my school! I take offence to these dirty little punks and hope they get suspended and have criminal charges brought against them! They are old enough to know better and if they ever graduate, there should not be one scholarship available for them! Shame on them and I hope their parents have punished them too!

Say No To Tourist's

@Mcgirl1965. Your shocked? Seriously? I'm also a graduate from the early 80's and it was happening then. Grand Haven has been tainted well before that, you probably just never saw it like a lot of us others did.


Boy,This nation elects it's first black president and man,You see people's true colors come out!I feel like we went back to the 60's


We have pretty much and we're not stopping there! 1930's here we come!


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