To the Editor:
It is kind of ironic... a bunch of White people discussing racism - an issue we will probably never ever experience, but I feel compelled to disagree with some of the statements made by Mr. Monzo, whom I like and respect.
As a former teacher who worked in a school district with a large minority population, I absolutely witnessed racism, reduced opportunities, testing bias, and the effects of poverty on a child's ability to succeed. To say all of us have the same chances to succeed is just false.
My husband worked for a company that advertised for a position that a qualified African American gentleman applied for. His application was thrown in the trash by the manager, who stated he will never hire a Black person in that company.
Are there laws against discrimination? Absolutely! Do people obey them? Not always. These laws are pretty hard to enforce, especially if no one speaks up or other reasons are given for not hiring a certain person.
How do we move forward to make life better for everyone? First, you have to be aware of the problem. You have to acknowledge that it exists. Then, you have to provide education, so people learn the truth. Only then can we make decisions to act differently and treat people better.
We have made many mistakes in the past, as seen by the treatment of Native Americans, African Americans, Holocaust victims, etc. We all know that history repeats itself until changes are put into place.
Even if it is not pretty, we need to teach truth. We need to teach empathy, compassion, love, and respect. Always believing we are the best and number one is rather arrogant. It would be much better to live by the Second Commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves.
What is so wrong with sharing our resources with each other instead of the rich having everything and the poor scrambling for the scraps?
Hard work does not bring everyone the blessings it should. I see Hispanic family members working two to three jobs and barely making ends meet, paying $1,600 a month to live in a one-bedroom motel because they cannot find affordable housing.
African American families live in areas with high water and air pollution levels because it is all they can afford, and no one else wants to live there.
Systemic racism is everywhere. One out of every three Black males will serve time in prison. A study by Brooking Institute researchers Scott Winship, Richard V. Reeves, and Katherine Guyut found that "the economic mobility of Black men is lower than all other demographic groups."
Chetty et al's research showed that while Black men are uniquely disadvantaged, White men are especially advantaged. Economists Brian Duncan and Stephen Trejo found that after "controlling for education, native-born Black men, Mexican and Asian men tend to earn less than their white counterparts."
Closing our eyes and trying to ignore, rationalize, and deny the reality and truth of the problems with capitalism is not the way to make our country better. It does not promote equal opportunity.
It ignores the needs of people. It encourages wealth inequality. It promotes mass consumption, it is not sustainable, and the environment is harmed for monetary gain. The gap between the rich and poor gets bigger and bigger with minorities losing out.
American children deserve to hear the truth. It is up to them to make decisions based on the mistakes of the past.
Racism is learned and it takes away opportunities. The next generation can make some positive changes to treat everyone fairly and equally.