To the Editor:
As an attorney, I am sure Mr. Monzo is aware of the difference between de jure (by law) and de facto (in reality or usage). Our country began with a premise that all men are created equal. Sadly, looking at our history, that has not always been the case.
To argue that people of color are treated equally under the law, or in society, may not represent the reality of America today. I believe a significant segment of our population, if asked, would say that institutional and systemic racism and intolerance remain alive and well, even as we continue to work to form that “more perfect union.” The brutal death of George Floyd indicates we may still have a ways to go.
The word critical has a number of meanings, and although most see it in terms of criticism and finding fault, a critique is simply an examination of what is, and a critical component is essential for functioning. It is also worth noting that critical mass can explode.
Our history is often like a Rorschach test and is often neither noble nor pretty. Being aware of the truth, even if uncomfortable, is necessary, and perhaps even critical.
I served in the U.S. Army from 1974 to 1975 in the Republic of Korea and learned a poem written during the Korean conflict called “Return to the Capitol,” which may fit our situation:
Nine out of every 10 houses have the doors nailed shut tight.
But in the hearts of men, there are more and bigger nails.
I find myself turning over my mind all these nailed up things.