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Yes, racism is very real

Yes, racism is very real

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I have been reading the articles and observing the responses to the various Black Lives Matter protests within multiple communities. I am grateful for the citizens (both black and white) within our community, who are willing to acknowledge the support needed for awareness, and to take a stand for encouraging this movement.

As a black man, let me reassure any reader of this letter: Even if you are not aware of racism in your immediate space, in our area, in this state, or in surrounding states, I, Charles “Buster” Earl Davis tell you racism exists.

As people might look at me, a 71-year-old black man, with my white wife, and well‐established barbeque restaurant in the great community of Calistoga, and they might believe I curtailed the harshness of racism that we see and hear about in our media. Please do not be fooled. Please understand that when walking in the shoes of a black human being, one is relegated to quite a different journey.

To clarify and to not be forgotten, I am beyond grateful for my earned successes, my loving family, my supportive peers, my amazing community, and my unwavering tenacity. But with that said, I can only imagine where I might be at in life right now if my journey in life hadn’t included the many obstacles of racism along the way that tried to hold me back. There is no way to answer that.

But please hear me when I say again, racism exists, in big blunt ways, and in subtle everyday reminders.

So the question now is how do we address this racism topic, not just for the moment, but for a legitimate movement? We address it by having conscious awareness together, despite our color, sexuality, age, or demographic. Moving this conversation, that to some was once awkward, into open conscious dialogue is a major step in this direction.

I am thankful for those who are having these awkward conversations and acknowledging what has been going on in every community for hundreds of years. This is not a moment, this is a movement. In time, the conversations will feel less awkward as more become enlightened. From the depths of my heart, and on behalf of my grandson, thank you for keeping the conversations on the table.

Buster Davis

Busters Southern BBQ


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I was editor of the newspaper and worked with two police chiefs. The paper was full of crime and police news, in part because there was a lot of criminal activity in Clearlake.

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