CEDAR FALLS --- One year ago the Cedar Falls-Waterloo community was named by the 24/7 Wall Street report as the worst place in this country for black people to live. The responses to that article included positive responses from our elected leaders and business leaders. The responses also included some denial and finger pointing. "That's not a Cedar Valley problem, nor a Cedar Falls problem. That's a Waterloo problem."
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I would answer that short-sighted finger pointing by pointing to an advertisement being run by one of the candidates for the Cedar Falls at large council seat. The focus of the ad is on crime in Cedar Falls. It features two pictures depicting crime - one is a mugshot of a Latino man, the other is video of young black men fighting. I doubt these images were chosen randomly. I believe they are used intentionally to stoke racial fears. The crime statistics for 2019 show that 83% of arrests in Cedar Falls were white, 15% of arrests were black. 0% were Latino. We are often told that 'If you see something, say something.' I see race baiting. I cannot in good conscience remain silent. We can and must do better.