In her follow-up text to The Columbian, Quiring said she made it clear that she believes there may be racist individuals — “unfortunately that exists because humans are not perfect. Nor do I condone racism in any form.”
“That said, from the sheriff’s office and deputies whom I know, none are racist. I know many of our judges in Clark County, I know none are racist. Finally, I know Clark County’s HR department and the good people there, and none of them are racist!” she wrote. “If all of these people and departments with our county aren’t racist, there is not SYSTEMIC racism! That has always been my point!”
In its letter, NAACP Vancouver President Bridgette Fahnbulleh wrote that Quiring’s belief “reflects ignorance at best,” and pointed to the county’s “infamous history of workplace racial discrimination, lawsuits, substantial settlements (and) inability to sustain meaningful workplace diversity,” among other examples.
It goes on to say that fellow council members; county leaders, such as Atkins; and many residents “have embraced anti-racism and a different vision for the future.”
“As county chair, you are required to ‘articulate council policies, vision, strategies, and plans; represent the county before the governor, state Legislature, and other state and federal agencies.’ You cannot effectively perform these duties while lacking introspection and the ability or willingness to recognize the reality of racism — including implicit bias, white privilege that sustains the status quo, and the adverse impact on people of color,” the letter reads.
The organization challenged Quiring to become educated on racism, and examine her own privilege and racial bias.
But in the meantime, “We urge you to step down to make way for a leader with the depth and desire to make our county a safe and welcoming place for all,” the letter concludes.