Letter: Being Black brings issues in Lima

At 38 years old I discovered I’m black.

I love Lima’s small-town feel, but the thinking that I could possibly settle here has caused me great strain, anxiety, and even concern. The current housing market seems to be designed against me. I meet all of the qualifications of any other rental candidate, but I’m black and from out of town.

My applications have been denied. My security deposit in the form of a money order has been denied. One owner actually said to me that he needed to see if I smelled. I haven’t smelled like anything other than Spice Bomb by Viktor and Rolf.

Is Lima not a place for a prospering, spiritual leader, author, critical thinker, who happens to be of darker hues and skin tone? I’ve worked in Washington D.C. and my blackness went unnoticed. I’ve lived in Denver where I was born and I was welcomed. I have even lived in a small Missouri city called Hazelwood, and my blackness was welcomed.

I didn’t come to Lima to start trouble. I came to settle down. So far all I’ve discovered is that I’m black.

Is Lima blind to what is happening in its current housing market? Rent has doubled, but jobs or opportunities have not. Rental companies are bullying people into moving out of the city with red tape and rules that are against people with my hue.

In this amazing city there is even a tent community of homeless people. They are people who have the capacity to do well but lack the opportunity. I’ve talked with some who say they’re here because there is no where else to go. They are educated with degrees acquired, healthy, but no opportunity.

I hate to believe this is Lima. Do I need to find another more welcoming city since my “kind,” as I was told, is not welcome?

Cedric Wright


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