Columbia addresses racial issues in the community

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COLUMBIA - Wednesday Columbia's City Manager sent an email out addressing racial issues in the community. 

The email quoted Mayor Bob McDavid's CNN interview saying, "This is a Columbia problem; this is a Mizzou problem. Until we deal with the pain minorities have; until we eliminate disparities in educational achievement, disparities in income, disparities in employment, our work is far from done." 

City Manager Mike Matthes wrote the email and said that many citizens have told him that they don't think race is that big of a problem.

He said he encourages them to recognize the history of both the city and the state. 

Missouri was a slave state and, for a long time, black Columbian's were not allowed in white schools, restaurants, and churches.

City Councilman Karl Skala said he wants to continue having a discussion on racial equity within the community. He said the university got itself in trouble because it didn't address the issue fast enough.

"Some of these things take time, but we need these discussions and we need to really get involved in this situation. There are solutions out there." Skala said.

Resident Joe Brown said, "There is a race problem. Certain restaurants I noticed you don't see minorities working." 

He says management leaders have to listen to these things and do something about it.

"I want to see updates and proof that things are actually being done," Brown said. 

Skala said he wants to accommodate everyone in this community and increase black leadership.