Responding to ignorance
To the Editor:
I'm writing in response to Frank Landry's letter, "Our version of justice," (April 12, 2014). In the letter he suggests that his comments related to race and racism will: "automatically be interpreted by those who have formed their opinions and stubbornly refuse to consider (accept?) facts to the contrary."
Everyone seems to have opinions about race and racism yet few people know very much about the actual and well-documented facts about how racism operates everyday in our communities. As someone who has been working on these issues full-time for 25 years and has taught courses about race and racism at the college and graduate school levels for 16 years, I can assure Mr. Landry that my opinions are based on real data that has come from years of examination of the wide range of research and statistics in this field and from the painful, lived experiences that people of color have shared with me.
Every day when I read in the Caledonian-Record stories about crime: murder, assault, theft, drug abuse, embezzlement, etc. , I can "immediately bet dollars to doughnuts" that the overwhelming majority of the perpetrators are white. But whiteness is so normative in our society, we never attribute the crime and violence white people commit to our race. That's a fact.
I don't expect that anything I write will have in impact on Mr. Landry's views. However, I do feel that is important to name his letter for the racist, white supremacist screed that it is.