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Stop the hate Marshalltown

February 13, 2014 - Brett Van Waus
According to the 2010 United States Census Bureau, about 24 percent of the Marshalltown population is Hispanic or Latino. To some residents this is not OK.

Tuesday morning I was driving on Center Street and stopped at the stop light. An older man driving a black truck stopped next to me, in the bike lane, rolled down his window, stuck his head out, then yelled to me, “Go back to Mexico, nobody (expletive) wants you here.” Then he turned right on Linn Street.

A big part of me wanted to yell back at the man. The mature adult in me tried to brush it off, however, this wasn’t the first time an incident like this happened to me in Marshalltown.

The first thing is, never once in my life have I been ridiculed for my appearance until I moved to Marshalltown. Second, I’m not a Latina. Third, even if I was, is this what a quarter of the population goes through on a daily basis? The harsh reality breaks my heart.

The second racist remark from a random citizen happened to me about two weeks after I moved to Marshalltown. I was walking to the police station and an older woman started to walk next to me. She asked me where I was from and if I was Hispanic. I responded and she said, “Good, we don’t need anymore.” I thought that was not a good welcome to Marshalltown.

When both of these incidents took place I was minding my own business. When I walk down Main Street everyday I see Hispanic people working in their shops, walking with their children and basically living life. Back in the summer when I was looking for apartments in Marshalltown I was touched at the sight of a Hispanic family outside sitting at a picnic table in their driveway, eating lunch.

After the snow storm Wednesday, I saw a Latina on East Olive Street shoveling her driveway, her two children watching her from the window. It was a cute sight. Two blocks later, I drove by a Caucasian man shoveling snow from his driveway onto the street; my car started to skid from the snow.

From what I have heard in city council meetings and in my conversations with residents, everyone seems to want the city to grow. In order for the city to grow, everyone needs to accept that we are all God’s children and we are all people, living in one community.

Please people of Marshalltown, stop the hate.



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