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Racism is still alive in Bloomington and southern Indiana, IU professor says

Posted at 11:29 PM, Jul 10, 2020

BLOOMINGTON — Almost a week after an alleged attempted lynching was caught on camera at Lake Monroe, Vaughxx Booker, the target to the attack, is calling for a grand jury to look into the case.

Community activists joined Booker Friday in Bloomington and are demanding an end to what they are calling systemic delay in justice for black people across the country.

WATCH | Press conference about recent alleged racial attack

While it appears to be an isolated incident, Amrita Myers, a professor at Indiana University and member of Black Lives Matter Bloomington, says racism is still in the city and southern Indiana.

"Our own mayor has said that this is the blueberry in the tomato soup, and other people have continually said that this is the blue dot in the red sea because we are such a red state and that we are so diverse, primarily because of the university, but really this is truly not a terribly diverse space or a welcoming space," Myers said.

Myers is a historian and has lived in the city for 15 years.

"The Jewish community has been harassed," Myers said. "The Muslim community has been harassed, women wearing hijabs have been harassed, it's not just the black community. You can speak to any minority community here in Bloomington and they can tell you they don't feel welcome, they don't feel safe, and it's escalated in the last four years. But it been that way for the 15 years that I've lived here and even prior to that."

For Bloomington to improve its problem with race, it needs to admit there is a problem first, Myers said.

"Stop pointing the finger at Martinsville and Bedford or Ellettsville or Spencer," Myers said. "We have a lot of garbage to clean up in our own community before we go start slinging mud at our neighbors."