One Woman’s Journey for Racial Equality: The Story of Ms. Mecca Scott

Olivia Grieco, Reporter

In honor of Black History Month and Women’s History Month, I spoke with a local woman in our community that has a large influence in both of these communities. Her name is Mecca Scott. Ms. Scott, an African American woman, was born in Harlem, New York, and raised in the South Bronx of New York City. Her efforts towards the racial injustice movement are monumental, and Ms. Scott has been a true inspiration her entire life. Race and equality are important issues consistently occurring in today’s society and generation, but the forces behind the movements and the people involved are not always highlighted. 

 

When she was 21 years old, Ms. Scott joined the US Army and was enlisted for four years. Even with rules prohibiting racial discrimination, Ms. Scott experienced prejudice while in training. This included discrimination  such as cultural hairstyles not being permitted despite them being protective to black hair types and specific examples like black soldiers not being told the same information as their white counterparts. Despite the constant flurry of racial injustice Ms. Scott experienced, she kept on fighting – something not only admirable but also agonizing, as the idea of being treated differently due to your race is something no one should have to experience. 

 

After years of civil work, Ms. Scott moved to Erie, CO, as she had adored the beauty and weather of the state. She has been working as a Union representative as well as a council representative for municipal workers, dedicated to readjusting the workforce to eliminate descrimination against sex and race. While living in Erie, Ms. Scott worked towards promoting and organizing inclusive programs such as the Being Better Neighbors organization. This group not only promotes being kind towards one another, but also recognizes that people of every race should advocate for  racial  equality as a unified force. Along with the colossal amount of work Ms. Scott has done previously, she also organized multiple community events. This included a Black Lives Matter march, which numbered over 2,000 people, Erie’s first Juneteenth celebration, and a picnic held to connect members passionate about the LGBTQ+ battle for equal rights and acceptance. 

 

Asking Ms. Scott about what she thought members of any community could do to help support and fight with the African American community was extremely important in order to celebrate the crossover of Black History Month and Women’s History Month. Her feedback was straightforward – show up to events and educate yourself on the race inequality issue. In order to represent and uplift peacefully, regardless of your race, reinforcement needs to occur. The tolerance and ignorance of a movement simply because it does not affect you personally means you are willingly conceding to a force that discredits the existence and determination of a broad party of people. Or as Ms. Scott would call it, “purposeful ignorance.” 

 

Adding a more specific question, I asked Ms. Scott about what teenagers can do to help steer the direction of race equality for the future.To break the cycle of systemic racism, her message was an overlooked yet vital one: don’t succumb to the pressure of thinking racism is “cool”. By aiding the movement as a teenager, you are recognizing the fact that being discriminated against is constantly painful, disheartening, uncomfortable, confusing, frustrating, and so, so much more. The most culminating thing any young adult can do is to stick up for your peers, a small act that can improve the world greatly. In smaller ways, teenagers can do things such as going to Black festivals, movies, etc, as well as educating themselves on historical developments such as the Freedom Writers. As Ms. Scott puts it, “no lip service” should be tolerated.