Race relationship a work in progress

Dear Editor,

Todd Richmond’s memory (NFIC July 20th, 2009) of the two law officers at a  casino reminded me of an incident in the 1970’s

My husband and I lived near the Burbank, CA., airport and flew our Cessna 210 back and forth cross the United States to visit family and friends in Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky,

Each time, after leaving Burbank, our first stop would be at a small airport in Arizona for fuel - for the plane and lunch for ourselves.

On one trip, we landed at a small northern Arizona airport and, while the plane was being fueled , we went inside to eat.

Two uniformed men walked in together, obviously State law officers. After they ate and left, we mentioned to the proprietor how happy we were to see a white American and Native American working as a a team.

The proprietor told us, “It’s the only way to enforce the law here. We are on an Indian Reservation. The white officer can talk to and arrest if necessary a white troublemaker. The Indian officer can  talk to and arrest if necessary an Indian troublemaker. The officers can, and do, make good witnesses for each other, and the citizens KNOW they will be treated fairly.”

Mr. Richmond’s story ended with the remark that both sides must develop trust... “we’re a work in progress.” About 35 years later, our race relationship is still a work in progress.

For all our sakes, we must keep on keeping on. How much longer will it take?

Angela B. Arnold
Tullahom, Tennessee