The Military and Racism in Wyoming -Part 2

Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 2:20 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Wyoming’s slogan is the “Equality State,” but it also has a legacy of discrimination.

And now that legacy is spilling over to a group Wyomingites say they respect the most in our state.

Earlier in part one, we spoke with a Military Official and our Governor to weigh in on this issue of discrimination.

In this second part, we will speak with a Laramie County School District representative, Mayor Patrick Collins and another Military Official.

After the issue of racism had come to a head, according to military officials, Cheyenne leaders came together on Mar. 18th and signed in an Anti-Bias Ordinance to stem discrimination within Cheyenne.

“We’re going to have to do it by our culture, and that comes from the top the Governor, the Mayor, from our Superintendent of Public Instructions from the Board of Trustees for the Schools for each parent in their homes. We’re all going to have to step up and make the determination and educate ourselves that this is just not ok,” said Mayor Patrick Collins.

In April, Laramie County School Officials placed a “Call to Action” to inform the community of the heightened discrimination students were dealing with.

They also launched “Sources of Strength,” a new program to address the issue.

“Recognizing that the schools are a microcosm of our larger community, making sure we are addressing it on all levels, on all fronts. And whats the level of appropriateness being...there should be complete intolerance for that level of intolerance,” says Dr. Margaret Crespo, LCSD1 Superintendent.

But on Sept 15th, state legislators voted down an Anti-Hate bill that would have made some of these acts a felony.

Some authorities say Wyoming’s Constitutional equality under the law makes it unnecessary.

Other Wyomingites say minority numbers are so low that it makes it a low-occurring issue, and it’s not a concern.

Military officials told us that in order for service members to avoid any further problems, they were choosing to shop across the border in Colorado to avoid issues of blatant racism and discrimination, pumping their money into Colorado’s economy.

Everyone we heard from says change comes through our votes, whether through our dollars or our ballots and that permanent change is based on our engagement with these sectors and businesses.

“We need support from the citizens. People who live in the community each and every day. You know the ones that aren’t at the leadership level of the city but the citizens the ones that shop in the stores. It takes the whole community every citizen to be a part of solving the challenges here,” says CMSgt. Nicholas Taylor, Commander Chief, 90th Missile Wing.

The service members moving away chose not to speak on camera because they didn’t want their families or children to be targeted any further.

We wish them the best.