LETTER: EDUCATION KEY COMPONENT
Thank you, Dennis Schrock, for addressing the issue of racism in your recent column. It’s time we all understand this is about much more than police brutality against people of color. For our entire history, there has been discrimination against people of color in every aspect of life: education, health, religion, sports, politics, the arts and law enforcement. We need to educate ourselves about systemic racism and how it affects each of our lives.
Read about the Doctrine of Discovery, which in the 15th century established a spiritual, political and legal justification for colonization and seizure of land not inhabited by Christians.
Try googling “race social construct definition” to understand how the idea of race has been created over time. A DNA test cannot tell you what race you are, only what part of the world your ancestors come from.
Or in the spirit of Independence Day, check out Fredrick Douglass’ July 5, 1852 speech to the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society. The speech is titled “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”
Once we are better educated, we will be better equipped and empowered to work together to make the needed corrections in our society. We need to make the most of this moment in history, when there is tremendous momentum and openness to change. Each of us needs to find a way to be part of the solution; otherwise we are part of the problem.
Often when I am in a store or in a large group of people, I am mindful of the tremendous privilege I hold as a white male. Simply by an accident of birth, this privilege is mine, even though I don’t believe I should have it. The challenge for me is, what do I do to level the playing field, so that someday this imbalance of power no longer exists?