League of Women Voters discussed inequality, racism during Brown Bag event

“White Rage” is not feel-good book, not much progress made to address equality, one league member said



The League of Women Voters of Pullman’s next Brown Bag event is scheduled from 12-1 p.m. Feb. 16.

JENAE LAXSON, Evergreen roots editor

The League of Women Voters of Pullman met Tuesday to examine the book “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide” and how it applies to today’s events. 

League member Krista Gross said “White Rage” is not a feel-good book. Reading it made her feel that little progress has been made to address equality. 

The U.S. is still a racist country, said league member Francy Pavlas Bose.

“I read this book and I did not think I could get through the very end because I was so angry,” she said. 

League coordinator Anne Lewis said the beginning of the book discussed reconstruction and how the majority of states did not ratify the 13th Amendment. 

This highlights today’s events, she said. Mississippi delayed the ratification of the 13th Amendment and it was not formally submitted until 2013. 

“The amendment was ratified in 1995, but they had not registered it with the National Archivist so it wasn’t official,” Lewis said. 

League member Libby Walker said she disagrees that the southern states are the only ones guilty of making it more difficult for people to register to vote. 

Walker said it may have started in the Confederate States, but she thinks most states are guilty of making it difficult to vote or stay registered to vote for some people.

There are white people who believe the advancement of Black people means they are missing out on certain opportunities, she said.

Gross said she is proud to live in a community that seems more progressive and strives for diversity.

When George Floyd was killed and Black Lives Matter protests occurred across the country, the Pullman Police Department knew it had to take action, Gross said. 

People talk about defunding the police, but the police cannot keep people safe if this were to happen, she said.

One of the department’s biggest goals is to hire more people of color, Gross said. The challenge is getting more applicants. 

It is critical that people continue to educate themselves on the history of racism the country continues to face, she said. 

Gross said she struggles with how everyone receives their news. Individuals are able to influence the information on their social media by selectively choosing which types of content to view.

“There is an argument that states social media is not good or evil,” she said. 

The next League of Women Voters’ Brown Bag meeting is scheduled from 12-1 p.m. Feb. 16. It will be held virtually.