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Conversations from the road

My wife urged me to record some of the conversations I have while walking door to door. I remember each and every one. It’s surprising how those interactions stick with you. I have about 2,800 doors in ward 2. There are a lot of memories. Before I get to this one, I'll say that 99+% of my conversations have been positive wonderful experiences and added both to my knowledge of Hudson's history, and the connections so many of us have. One I had recently, not a great one but I’ll tell you anyway, was less of a conversation and more of just an experience of being yelled at. I won’t give specifics or roads – but a woman I passed me on the street turned around and yelled to me “there IS racism in this town Mr Foster”, emphasizing IS, as though she was convinced I denied the existence. I didn’t say anything to her when she passed me. It really just came out of the blue. I have to make some assumptions here – she is probably referring back to when we had a discussion on council regarding city funding of diversity, equity and inclusion programs. Funny what some people remember and what they easily forget. When this issue came up 2 ½ years ago I opposed the city spending taxpayer money to fund a 3rd city program on DEI. We already had two in the city at the time. I don’t think you change a person’s heart and mind by putting on training funded by the city – the people who see the world that way already will come, the people who don’t believe it is right won’t come. I also suggested that if the group members wanted funding from me, that they ask me as an individual and that I would be happy to contribute, but as a member of council I cannot support taxpayer dollars in that program. Some people seem to forget my personal offer. I also took issue with some of the books that were being taught on identity politics, and expressed my belief in treating people equally without regard to their race – the theory behind ‘color blind’ policies. It isn’t that you don’t see race, or even understand that prejudice exists. The theory is that you strive to treat people equally even though you recognize race, as you recognize many aspects about any human. I never said racism doesn’t exist, though I may have said I don’t believe it is pervasive in Hudson. It exists everywhere. I may have even discussed a young man named Coleman Hughes, who has a fantastic podcast series and speaks extensively on this topic. Recently Coleman Hughes was invited to give a TED talk. The TED organizations tagline is “ideas worth spreading”. His talk was on the idea of color-blindness – and yet the TED organization seems to have tried to suppress the very speech he was invited to give. This is relevant to me because I was yelled at last week – and the other day I read this Free Press article and watched Coleman Hughes TED talk. I was incredibly disappointed the TED organizers tried to suppress a man of color expressing his beliefs in an incredibly well formatted, intellectually easily understood manner. Coleman Hughes is one of the brightest young minds speaking on many of the difficult to address topics today. His TED talk is linked below. I would urge anyone to listen if you have 13 minutes. The article itself talking about TEDs attempt to bury this talk and even block it is linked below as well. His TED talk on Youtube – I urge you to watch it: The article on The Free Press about TED’s suppression attempts: I don’t know why I shared this specific story but perhaps because both the incident on the road and the article about Coleman occurred in the same week. Or perhaps because both issues have stuck with me for similar reasons. Take the time to watch his video.

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