Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Sun, Dec. 15

Letter | The “Code of Silence”

This week I had a serious discussion with a few residents regarding why things don’t change around here when everyone seems to know a serious problem exists but nothing changes.

It’s clear the “Fear Factor” of speaking up is very much alive here. It appears City Council was caught off guard by the suggestion Kingman has a race relations problem. This time the race issue is front stage and the name Kingman has made it to all the national media outlets in a very negative way.

Travis Lingenfelter’s attempts at lifting the City out of the old days and bringing business and prosperity to Kingman has hit a real stumbling block – the national media and the suggestion of racism here.

The recent problem with crisis management the mayor of Kingman had to try in order to head off racist comments about Kingman was that the mayor acted too quickly without planning a proper response.

Look, I have been in Kingman for 15 years and my family has a history of doing work with local businesses here since the the early 1950s. I can say now that I was approached by my neighbors in Anaheim, California in 2003 before I moved here that Kingman was not a good place and they wondered why I would move here. The comment was from a Hispanic neighbor who said no one except whites live here.

Well, my family members had been here for many years before I came here. They and I are not racist and I always liked the friendly people in the area. The issue is the old history that never seems to leave Kingman as it tries to hold on to the nostalgia of the past in order to promote tourism and jump into the 21st century at the same time.

Let’s talk the truth. Is that OK?

This area does have hardcore bad people here like many other areas around the country, but we cannot just ignore the situation while trying to create economic growth. No one wants to move here or work here if they think the KKK runs the show in the background – which it does not.

Many people have told me to shut up and keep my concerns to myself as it only makes things worse to bring things out in the open. Well, the cats out of the bag now folks, and as a community we better stop the code of silence in local government and take proactive steps to bring Kingman’s image up to par.

If we want prosperity, it must include all people and not just the wealthy few who own all the land and developments.

We must clean up the cronyism that infects government hiring and firing, which is very strong here.

And that, my friends, is a fact many are ignoring.

Dean Wolslagel

Kingman resident

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