Letter: Duty to ensure equality for every American
To the Editor:
The following letter is in response to the letter to the editor, “Education, a key to expressing the racial divide.”
The letter begins with the statement by the author that “humans are flawed, some Blacks hate whites, and vice versa.”
This statement is overly simplistic and ignores the reality of our world and history. Yes, humans are historically tribalistic. Hate and prejudice existed prior to the colonization of the Americas and subsequent genocide of the millions of people already living in them. It existed prior to the Atlantic slave trade.
However, the idea of “biological race” was constructed to justify the aforementioned genocides and ownership of human beings.
It does not exist. It is a tactic meant to divide us (ordinary people).
I am not sure why the author of this letter describes the issue at hand as a "racial divide."
I have attended protests and they consisted of a diverse crowd. Clearly there is no "racial divide," merely those who understand that our BIPOC brothers and sisters still face disadvantages based on the color of their skin, and there are those who oppose us, who in a fervor of perceived patriotism bury their heads in the sand and refuse to see that there is a problem, despite the insurmountable evidence that there is.
I am also intrigued by the author's definition of ‘education.’ Education is a term that can be defined in a myriad of ways. I loosely define it as a process of constant enrichment and search for truth. However, the author of this letter is not describing education. She is describing a neutered version of American history designed to protect people's feelings rather than confront our shortcomings and pave the way toward a more perfect union.
No country is perfect, no human beings are perfect. However, as citizens of this country and of the world, we are obligated to strive for a more perfect world for all of our fellow Americans and human beings.
The mention of the "Blacks" (the author’s use of this word in this context made me cringe) that the author of this letter mentions is also interesting. What interests me is that the author is able to ignore millions of Americans protesting in the streets, and a sea of BIPOC/African American experts, authors and intellectuals in the fields of sociology, political science, etc., and instead cast her lot with a handful of media personalities that happen to agree with her so that she may continue turning a blind eye to housing segregation, police brutality and other manifestations of systemic racism.
Real education is not easy. It is not easy to acknowledge that there is still work to do. However, it is much, much harder to live in the reality that BIPOC, impoverished and LGBT Americans experience daily. It is our duty to ensure equality for every American, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us.
I myself grew up in Shelton. I was educated in Shelton. Shelton, although it is rapidly changing, is a primarily white, middle-class/affluent community. We are primarily shielded from the reality of many Americans. I myself have a long way to go to learn and become an ally to my fellow humans. This starts with empathy, and real education, no matter how much this hurts your feelings.
I, for one, am of the opinion that if something can be destroyed by the truth, it deserves to be.
This issue clearly requires a nuanced, empathetic and open-minded approach. Not a backward, patronizing and distorted approach that the author of this letter to the editor calls for.
I recommend that the author (or any interested party) look up the following people:
Jane Elliot (Educator, has been educating and spreading awareness since the sixties.)
Tanehisi Coates (Author)
Killer Mike (Activist, rapper, community advocate.)
Cornel West (Professor, activist, author.)