Local race relations strained after Baltimore unrest

The tensions in Baltimore are also affecting race relations in the Local 6 area. A group has been working for months to promote unity, but the riots, the violence, and the strained relationship between police and protestors there could be a setback for progress here.

The visuals from Monday night in Baltimore are hard to ignore. “That’s certainly not what we want in Paducah. That’s certainly not the way in which things should be taking place now,” Raynarldo Henderson said. He’s the head pastor at Washington Street Baptist Church. 

Henderson and Floyd Donley are members of a local race unity group. They said the violence can not be excused, but it can be explained. 

“Right now, black America is frustrated. When you’re frustrated, it manifests itself in ways that we see in Baltimore,” Henderson said.

Donley said he’s seen some of those same frustrations in Paducah, but the group’s goal is to make sure a scene similar to Baltimore doesn’t happen here.  

“I think we need to work together to try to solve people’s frustration prior to them becoming so frustrated that they do something radical,” Donley said.

They’re planning group sessions designed to help local leaders and the community talk through tough topics. “Everybody should have the right to express their concern, but they should also listen to the people of the other persuasion, whatever it may be,” Donley said.

The idea is to keep the conversation going, respectfully, to avoid an explosive race problem in Paducah. “I don’t think it’s gonna’ hinder us from moving forward in any way,” Henderson said.

The race unity group was also behind bringing the documentary Racial Taboo to Paducah. Now, there are six continuing conversation sessions scheduled. The first one will be at 6 p.m. Thursday at Washington Street Baptist Church. The group is also planning an all-day workshop scheduled for May 9 at the Paducah Recreation Center. To sign up, call 270-415-0664.  

Related Articles

Saline County board moves forward with forensic audit of clerk Saline County, Illinois, leaders are moving forward with a forensic audit to find out if their county clerk mismanaged tax dollars.
Fighting cavities without a dentist drill Not many people look forward to going to the dentist, especially children. Now, there’s a new liquid doctors are using to fight cavities painlessly, w...
Judge: University should let Kentucky AG view documents about misconduct A judge has ordered Kentucky State University to let the attorney general examine some documents about alleged sexual misconduct of some of the school...
Paducah, McCracken County leaders continue to entertain potential E911 changes Changes come with growing pains. That was the message Monday night in a meeting about your 911 service.