I’ve participated in about two dozen protests in Indianola over the past few years. Most have been sponsored by Indivisible Warren County. Some have been sponsored by Warren County Walks for Black Lives Matter. The issues have always been progressive: political, advocating for environmental and social justice. Those protesting have always followed the guidelines of the organizers: be positive and use good manners. Most of the protests occurred at Moats Park at Hwy 65/69 and Iowa Avenue during peak traffic times. I’ve observed thousands of vehicles. Following are my observations.

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The true "white fragility" is the fear that someone, somewhere, for any reason or no reason, other than your skin color, may call you a "racist". Because of that fear, some white people will adopt any, supposedly antiracist, idea in order to avoid being labeled a racist.

I was employed as a civil rights investigator from 1976 to 1985. After I became a lawyer, I was an administrative law judge dealing with civil rights issues from 1989 to 2010. I have learned three things: 1. The principle underlying the civil rights movement was Dr. King's principle that people should be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. This principle, along with Dr. King's principle of nonviolence, has been thrown into the nearest available trash can by many in the "woke", "antiracist", critical race theory community. Stereotyping and discrimination against certain races, primarily whites and Asians, are approved by them. Such action is also approved against minorities who do not conform to the "woke" ideology, such as stereotyping Sen. Tim Scott as "Uncle Tim" because he said America is not a racist country.

2. At one time, during slavery and, later, the Jim Crow era, America actually had systemic racism. Since 1945, America has worked to erect new systems of anti-discrimination laws and norms, in both government and business, to defeat racism. Racism is still present, but not systemic. That is why, with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, or any other state or federal anti-discrimination enforcement agency, the vast majority of discrimination cases are closed, either administratively or by no probable cause findings, as not having sufficient merit to be worth pursuing. That is why, from the cop on the beat to the presidency, Blacks and other minorities can commonly be found in positions of authority, something that would not be possible in a systemically racist country. That is why only 5% of Americans would mind if members of a different race moved in next door, as compared to 40% in France. Today, the major forms of intentional policy discrimination practiced by our educational institutions take such “woke” forms as discrimination against Asians in admission policies to benefit other preferred minority groups or segregated graduation ceremonies for various minorities, a practice that actually brought tears of joy to KKK officials.

3. In order to promote the "systemic racism" theory, it is necessary to constantly lie. The examples of false racial discrimination charges are so numerous, from Tawana Brawley to Jessie Smollet, that it is impossible to keep track of them. Just recently, a Jeopardy contestant was accused of giving a "white power" symbol when he held three fingers up after winning his third Jeopardy episode. He had previously held one finger up for his first win and two for his second. After this was ascertained, past contestants demanded he still apologize for accidentally giving a supposed white power symbol.

In another case, an Ohio police officer shot dead a young Black woman who was trying to murder another Black woman with a knife. Video showed the shooting was totally justified. The left reacted as though it were somehow "racist" for the officer to have acted as he did. They even characterized "knife fights" as normal schoolyard fights, a proposition which was absurd on its face for reasons beyond the reality that a stabbing of an unarmed victim is not a "knife fight". As Snoopy, (although some will claim he is a "racist" cartoon character, like SpongeBob Squarepants) would say "Good Grief!".

Another lie posits that Black people are being hunted down and killed by police. In fact, any unarmed person, whether Black or white, has less chance of being shot dead by police than they have of being struck by lightning. Several studies agree with the Center for Policing Equity finding showing the mean lethal use of force rates per 1000 arrests: Black: 0.37 White: 0.64.

A more recent lie suggests that Voter ID laws are "racist". Then why does a recent Rasmussen Poll show that 64% of whites, 59% of Blacks and 58% of other minority voters – reject the claim that voter ID laws discriminate against some voters? If you drive, work, obtain welfare or fly you need a photo ID. Why is it implicitly suggested that minorities are incapable of obtaining free photo IDs in states with voter ID requirements? This was once known as "the soft bigotry of low expectations". It is actually the unspoken hard bigotry that minorities are too stupid to perform such an act. But the "woke" are willing to support such stereotypes for political advantage.

One final note, Ibram X. Kendi was cited as an authority by Mr. Heideman. In a recent article for Imprimis, Christopher F. Rufo noted:

"[Kendi] has proposed the creation of a federal Department of Antiracism. This department would be independent of (i.e., unaccountable to) the elected branches of government, and would have the power to nullify, veto, or abolish any law at any level of government and curtail the speech of political leaders and others who are deemed insufficiently 'antiracist.'"

Mr. Rufo’s article is at: https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/critical-race-theory-fight/

This proposal would violate many provisions the Constitution, including the First Amendment protections of freedom of speech and the Fourteenth Amendment providing for equal protection of the law.


Dear Ron,

I love the words from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "Judge me by the content of my character, not the color of my skin." Jesus told us to love thy neighbor as thy self. I agree with you that we are all connected and should be all valued as people.

Do you agree that segregation is a racist behavior? Do you agree that when you deny someone access to something because of their religion, race, ethnicity or the way they voted is racism?

Do you believe that treating someone poorly because their skin is a certain tone is racism? Here's the definition of segregation: The policy or practice of separating people of different races, classes, or ethnic groups.

The pure statement of BLM is segregation, ALL lives matter. Christ valued all lives. The notion that black lives matter indicates that other lives don't. Let's all stop grouping people and pitting them against other groups. Inciting hate towards others just because of the group they belong to IS racism. People who dwell in the past will never create a new future. People who learn from the past, and forgive and move on will create a new optimistic future. Saying white privileged IS racism. You have no clue if a white person is privileged or advantaged, maybe they had parents who worked hard, stayed together, loved God, saved money and stayed away from drugs. Does that make any person privileged? Even calling someone white or black is grouping them which is also known as segregation. Your movement is not a Christian movement. Your movement is actually going against the wisdom and teachings of Jesus and the great leader, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Just because I didn't honk or shout at you doesn't mean you should worry about me. I'm the one worried for you and the division that you and your BLM movement is creating.

Steve Kirby

I suggest you take a look at an article titled “The fallacy of white privilege – and how it’s corroding society” (https://nypost.com/2020/07/11/the-fallacy-of-white-privilege-and-how-its-corroding-society/). Here are some interesting facts from this article:

“According to median household income statistics from the US Census Bureau, several minority groups substantially out-earn whites. These groups include Pakistani Americans, Lebanese Americans, South African Americans, Filipino Americans, Sri Lankan Americans and Iranian Americans (in addition to several others). Indians, the group I [the article’s author] belong to, are the highest-earning ethnic group the census keeps track of, with almost double the household median income of whites.”


“…several black immigrant groups such as Nigerians, Barbadians, Ghanaians and Trinidadians & Tobagonians have a median household income well above the American average. Ghanian Americans, to take one example, earn more than several specific white groups such as Dutch Americans, French Americans, Polish Americans, British Americans and Russian Americans. Do Ghanaians have some kind of sub-Saharan African privilege? Nigerian Americans, meanwhile, are one of the most educated groups in America, as one Rice University survey indicates.”

And it is also interesting that you recommend books by Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo.

Kendi had an interesting reaction when Amy Coney Barrett was being considered as a Supreme Court nominee in 2020 and it became known that the Barrett’s had sometime before adopted two black children from Haiti:

“Some White colonizers ‘adopted’ Black children,” Mr. Kendi wrote on Twitter after Ms. Barrett’s nomination. “They ‘civilized’ these ‘savage’ children in the ‘superior’ ways of White people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial.”

(Jarrett Stepman, “Woke ‘Anti-Racist’ Ibram Kendi Levels Racist Attack at Amy Coney Barrett,” The Daily Signal, September 30, 2020, https://www.dailysignal.com/2020/09/30/woke-anti-racist-ibram-kendi-levels-racist-attack-at-amy-coney-barrett/)

DiAngelo had some of her instructional slides used by Coca Cola in its “Be Less White” employee diversity training; one of her slides stated that being “less white is to:” (among other things)

Be less oppressive.

Be less arrogant.

Be less ignorant.

(“Andrew Court, “LinkedIn takes down white author’s slides telling people to be ‘less white’ and ‘less oppressive’ from its learning site after backlash against Coca-Cola for using the video in diversity training,” Daily Mail, February 23, 2021, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9288421/Coca-Cola-accused-reverse-racism-sharing-video-encourages-employees-white.html)

For an interesting review of the books by Kendi and DiAngelo that you listed, see Jarrett Stepman, “3 Key Concepts That Woke ‘Anti-Racists’ Believe,” The Daily Signal, August 10, 2020, https://www.dailysignal.com/2020/08/10/3-key-concepts-that-woke-anti-racists-believe/.

In this review Stepman pointed out that “DiAngelo and Kendi promote a racial variation of common oppressor versus oppressed narratives, seen in many traditional left-wing ideologies. Marxist economic ideology revolving around class is more or less replaced by race in a scenario where there are only winners and losers.”

Instead of the focus on skin color, I suggest we be guided by the 1963 words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

“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.”


Thank you Steve!

Steve Kirby

Thank you for your comments.

Steve Rose

Well said, Ron! You were a dedicated public servant and role model in the decades you taught for Indianola Schools. You continue to lead and inspire in retirement.

Nancy Neiman

Thanks for your candid and enlightened thoughts, Ron. Excellent list of books to help understand the perspectives of others.



Thank you so much for your observations. I hope that we can each have the courage to reflect within ourselves where each of us may be in that view of observation. It is through awareness that seeds of change are planted. Thank you too for providing information to follow up on and continue our journey toward a more fair and just community, state, country and world.


Well spoken, thank you Ron.


I agree with mr. Hiedeman completely. Jim McClymond

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