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La Crosse activist says attitudes must change to reduce racism



For more than a week, Americans have been demonstrating against the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while being restrained by Minneapolis police. 

But what else can be done to fight racism? 

La Crosse activist Shaundel Spivey says one idea that could help is to teach that blackness is beautiful. 

Spivey feels that many African-Americans don’t hear that message.

“As black people, you’re constantly reminded in so many ways of how much of a thug you are, right? How much of a bad person you are,” Spivey tells Z93’s morning show. “Like everything black in this society is seen as bad.”

Spivey is a former chair of the La Crosse Human Rights Commission, and was just elected to the La Crosse School Board this spring.                  

Spivey says that individuals should look at how they react to people different from themselves.

“Maybe when you walk past a black person, you’re so scared that you walk across the street, you clench your purse, you run, et cetera,” said Spivey. “We need to address it.”    

Spivey says people in the community need to stand up and speak out about injustice, and figure out ways to dismantle institutions that keep racism alive.  

He says racism is a problem started by white people, and people from many backgrounds need to be given positions where they can help make social changes.


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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  1. Very Concerned

    June 5, 2020 at 6:16 am

    “Racism is a problem started by white people” sounds like a racist statement to me. This is not very productive discourse.

  2. George Caplan

    June 5, 2020 at 6:27 am

    A good first step would be to stop blaming others for Black peoples problems all that does is put people on the defensive and give people an excuse to act as they are. If you are blaming someone else for your problems you need their help to solve them. Instead ask yourself what you can do to improve your situation. Then you actually have control over what happens and you dont need anybody else’s help.

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