Systemic racism not
reserved for one group
Michael Toppen wrote in his June 13 letter to the editor that there is racism in America, but it is not systemic. Well, I believe that, unfortunately, there is systemic racism, but not the kind talking heads like Gayle King would like us to believe. In a “CBS Sunday Morning” interview on June 7, Mark Whitaker said, “To me, it’s the most heartbreaking thing on Earth to tell these young beautiful boys that people who don’t even know them hate them. It’s ‘The Talk.’ It’s what we have to do.”
Oscar Hammerstein wrote these lyrics for the musical South Pacific way back in 1949 that are still relevant today:
“You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear. You’ve got to be taught from year to year. It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear. You’ve got to be carefully taught. …
“You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late, before you are six or seven or eight, to hate all the people your relatives hat. You’ve got to be carefully taught.”
Even Al Roker, for whom I have great admiration for his wit, humor and character, chimed in on NBC the next day saying he too had “The Talk” with his children, and protesters say they are marching for “my people” and that “my people” are afraid to leave the house for fear they will be “killed by cops.” I am pretty sure, Michael, that they are not counting anyone who looks like you or me among “my people.”
I remember a report on the CBS morning news of a graduate student who sued his university for discrimination because he had been passed over several times for promotions that were given to less-qualified minority students and Gayle King’s reaction was, “How can a white man be discriminated against?” Well, Gayle, when Richard Carroll was elected to represent an Arkansas district that was 65% Black and asked to be a member of the Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus, he was told that he could never be a member because his skin was the wrong color. Joyce Elliott said “Excluding white lawmakers is a legitimate form of discrimination because Black legislators need to join with others of ‘common cause.’” That, Gayle, is just one more example of how a white man can be discriminated against.
“You’ve got to be taught to be afraid of people whose eyes are oddly made and people whose skin is a different shade. You’ve got to be carefully taught.”
At least 15% of the folks in our country are teaching their children to resent and fear those who “don’t look like them” and many have demonstrated a willingness to burn and loot not just police property but the business of folks who do look like them in their protest against what they claim is others’ systemic racism when they are creating and perpetuating systemic racism themselves.
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