I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
If Dr. King were alive today, half a century after his famous speech, he would surely be disappointed his dream remains unfulfilled. It seems the country is even more divided, and not just by race and politics, but by anyone that disagrees with you.
Regular readers of the magazine know that I don’t often agree with the politics of Nevada’s Governor Sisolak. However, agreeing with his politics and respecting his role in our state are not the same. Recently, Governor Sisolak had occasion to respond to racist comments made against his wife by Nye County Commissioner Donna Cox.
In case you missed it, Cox implied the governor had reinstated the mask mandate to allow his wife’s family to profit. At a Nye County commission meeting held in early August she said, “[Governor Sisolak] ran for the governor’s office, and he won. Well, a few months after he won, he married his wife. Now how long he’s known her I have no idea, but she is Chinese.”
Cox continued, “And you put two and two together, they actually said that her family in China owns a company that’s making a lot of money off of this issue. That she’s here in the United States promoting and selling all these masks and emergency equipment and everything, and they’re all being shipped over from China.”
The response from the governor was swift and right on target. He said, “I am furious after hearing vile, blatantly racist comments made against my wife – a Nevadan who has dedicated her life to making our state a better place. There is no room for this type of hateful speech from anyone, especially not from an elected official.”
I can’t agree with him more and, given our political differences, it’s not often that happens. This issue is cut and dry. Kathy Sisolak is a native Nevadan and has been a public servant since graduating from UNLV in the early 1980’s. As expected, condemnation of Cox’s comments from officials throughout the state has been plentiful. It’s not just one side of the political aisle that is infuriated either; Nevadans throughout the state have no tolerance for bigotry.
I would hope that, as fully grown adults, we can find a way to disagree without personal attacks or name calling. Cox was upset with the governor’s mask mandate and chose to attack his wife. Shame on the commissioner for her childish comments. Most public officials, including Sisolak, have thick skin, without it they would never survive the campaign trail. However, Cox crossed the line when she came after the governor’s wife and, like most of us would, he responded in-kind.
Call to Action: What does this say about our society? Somehow, we lost our way. Instead of working with each other, we immediately go on the attack. What happened to civility and the idea that, though we have differing opinions, we can still work together to improve Nevada? We’re better than this name calling and false, fear-mongering allegations. Let’s start being respectful of each other, even when we disagree.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”