Karen Brazas: Exactly the wrong messages | TheUnion.com
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Karen Brazas: Exactly the wrong messages

My 6-year-old granddaughter and I recently visited our favorite bookstore in Grass Valley. While browsing in the children’s section for the perfect book, I came across one that was most disturbing. “Something Happened in our Town” is billed as “a child’s story about racial injustice.” The author recommends it for children as young as 4 years old.

The “something that happened” was a Black man being shot by police. I was appalled when these words literally jumped off the pages: “The cops shot him because he was Black … some White people think Black men and boys are dangerous … the cop won’t go to jail because cops stick up for each other, and they don’t like Black men ….”

One would think a child’s book about today’s race issues would encourage our young ones to get along, to be kind and accepting of others, to teach fairness and peace rather than distrust and division. But not this book!



This book reinforces racism and fear, especially fear and distrust toward law enforcement. It is a slap in the face to the vast majority of men and women who work hard and risk their lives to protect us. It intimates that officers seek out, detain and shoot unarmed people of color.

We as a nation are suffering today. “Victimhood” is being sold for pennies. Blaming one race of people for all racism is initself racism. Planting seeds of distrust in the malleable minds of our little ones continues to push the divide.




Taking responsibility for one’s actions is being ignored and is being replaced by blame. In this book, the blame falls on the broad shoulders of our law enforcement community.

A recent “cartoon” published in The Union shows a young Black man afraid to go outside for fear of being shot as he sees a patrol car parked nearby. Is there any doubt that illustrations like these fuel the flame? Is it any wonder why our officers are getting shot and killed almost daily?

When will we realize that perhaps respect and kindness can bring people together and just might help our nation heal?

Books like “Something Happened in Our Town” should be removed from our shelves. Cartoons that attempt to poke fun at serious issues don’t seem very humorous when lives are at stake. We should be teaching respect for others, no matter what color they are or what uniform they wear. Our children deserve better.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Karen Brazas lives in Nevada City.


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