Claudette Paige: ‘All Lives Matter’ dismisses experience of people of color
I want to commend and thank Darrell Berkheimer on the passionate, civil and accurate column printed on Sept. 17, “Ending Racism is a community-wide issue.”
I was buoyed by his attempt to throw a light on the structural racism that American has labored under since its founding. What is despicable is that today racism still resides in many of the institutions that support our democracy.
Watch the video, “A Brief History of White Privilege, Racism and Oppression in America” by Thom Hartmann at http://www.youtube.com. Become one of the 20 percent of the population who understands the “problem of race” in America. After watching this, look into your own life. If you had been born a person of color, would your opportunities for success have been the same? If you answer “yes” then you don’t understand the issue.
Read Derald Wing Sue’s book “Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence.” You will become one of the 20 percent of the population who understands the “problem of race” in America. Or don’t, and remain one of the 80 percent of people who think that “all men are created equal,” except for women and all persons of color. Continue to believe that “All Lives Matter” is inclusive when it actually dismisses the everyday experience of people of color in America. Black people are in a struggle for their very lives.
Thanks to the hate speech being made acceptable in this presidential campaign, we have the opportunity to address racism where it lives, in the hearts of many Americans and in our institutions. In the words of a famous global philanthropist, “America is not so much a country as an idea. The greatest idea brought forth by humans.”
We are in danger of stopping the progress we have made towards becoming a “more perfect union.” When I salute the flag, it is the potential for this perfection that I salute because nowhere else on earth has a country been founded on the principle of equality, on the promise of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for all.
Let us continue to strive to fulfill this promise. God help America!
Claudette Paige lives in Grass Valley.
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