I have to start by saying ..... OH BOY!  I read The Buffalo News this morning and saw a story on the front page stating that a "Lovejoy mother moves family to West Side"....so I started reading.  By the time I was done reading I wondered why the headline was so vague...#1... and secondly, wondered how it could actually be happening that there is a segment of the Buffalo Community bold enough to be living out Racist tendencies such that they are still living in the 1960's!  Not being from Buffalo; I was BAFFLED ...to say the least.  The other emotion I felt was anger.  But I've learned over time, and have attained enough Wisdom at this point in my life, to know that the best way to channel anger is with pen and paper.

Well, because the internet and social networking is a far more effective means of communication and has a much greater impact these days than the marches Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. needed to organize to get a message across...I figured I'd be amiss to neglect taking advantage of this medium to voice my opinion based on what I read in what is now "My Local Newspaper" (since I'm now a Buffalonian)...The Buffalo News.  So in getting motivated to write my Daily WBLK Blog, which I didn't anticipate taking a long long time on...until I read this story.

I went to YouTube to see if I could find some video footage to support the story.  I typed in "Buffalo Racism".... and WHOA!!!!... all these UNRELATED videos popped up.  Most notable were the vidos from a bout a year agio this month about a downtown Buffalo club (Foreplay) closing an African-American Fashion Show After-Party early because the crowd was not evenly attended with 50% of the patrons being White.  Supposedly the club closed and then re-opened, after dispersing the African-American patrons...and after reopening later that evening, eventually acquired the regular 90% / 10% racial mix they were used to.

Now one year later I'm reading about Ann Cooper having to move her family out of "Lovejoy" after someone threw a brick through a bedroom window in her home at about 4:30Am Friday morning.  I guess you have to be from Buffalo to know what "Lovejoy" is...which I'm not so sure I still know... but after looking around on the internet, I now know (or think) it's considered part of "Buffalo Proper".  Wikipedia says "Lovejoy's" main "Ethnic Group" consists of Italian Americans, followed by people of Polish and German decent and 10% African-American and Latino Americans, and 5% Asian Americans...with 75% of the entire population in Lovejoy being reportedly European Americans.

The Buffalo News story goes on to report that this incident with the Cooper family is nothing new and that Ann Cooper, based on this repeatedly happening to her family since moving to Lovejoy, was planning to move anyway.  It seems the racist climate in the Lovejoy area couldn't wait and continued to torment and target this African-American family.  What baffles me most is how this behavior is taking place in 2012 at all!

In all fairness to the overall climate in Lovejoy and the general population in Lovejoy... I'm going to assume most residents are not Racist and it's a very nice community... despite this incident.  I'll also be fair in presenting the allegation from some people involved in this conflict, according to The Buffalo News report, that the Cooper family instigated the conflict and supposedly robbed a pizza delivery person, and have started fights..one in which a fight did factually occur with two white young men going to the hospital.  The Cooper family is saying the fight ensued based on continual racial slurs aimed at the Cooper family since they've moved into the area.  Ann Cooper does not not deny that there was a point at which this became too much and upon standing up to the racism, a fight took place with the two boys being hospitalized.

I'm know I'm writing an awful lot here so let me get to the point.  The situation in Lovejoy and racism in general is potentially volatile to the extent that someone could get seriously hurt or die.  There's no need for either to happen...there is a solution...at least in my opinion.

There's no 100% proof that the current tragedy with George Zimmerman shooting and killing Trayvon Martin in Sanford. FL. was racially motivated...but there is one element relative to both the Sanford killing and the current Lovejoy incidents that could have prevented either from taking place...and that is... "RESPECT"!... and an understanding that there are cultural differences in our society that EXIST AND WILL NEVER GO AWAY!

We all need to learn to identify and RESPECT those cultural differences which may at times be so different than what we're used to that it causes us to react negatively.  Instead, practice embracing the fact that the other person is not you, will never be you, has a different upbringing, different views, opinions, etc, etc...that may not jibe with what you believe or where your're from or where you've been.  RESPECT is very simple... it's a Hello! and keep going attitude...on both behalves.  I don't even believe in the "just ignore them" concept... like it's been said "you catch more flies with Honey than you do with Vinegar"... the tendency is to swat a fly away angrily...and normally miss... with the fly coming back mad and tormenting you even more...but if you use honey they'll stick to it and leave you alone...right?  Anyway; to avoid any further conflict in Lovejoy or in your own community...practice "RESPECT" for other people's differences.  Hopefully someone in Lovejoy will read this and pass it along to the persons in Lovejoy who are OBVIOUSLY Racist...which is the root of any initial problem that arose in that community to begin with... you can blame this or that for the problem "after the fact"...but the accountability for the initial problem lies in the perpetrators of the initial RACISM. (My opinion)

To see video of Ann Cooper being interviewed regarding the incident click on the link below:

To see video news coverage of the alleged racist related incident in a downtown Buffalo Night Club a year ago click the link below:

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