I enjoyed reading “Let the discussions on race begin” by Arlene Jones in the April 2 issue of Wednesday Journal Viewpoints. I agree with Ms. Jones-white people hardly ever have to think about the color of their skin. We just take it for granted. When I discuss race, many white people say, “I just don’t see color!” They mean to say they aren’t prejudiced. But it’s certainly ridiculous to say you don’t see color because everyone does! That’s exactly the point at which the discussions about race must begin-with an awareness of what it means to be an African American at this time in our society.


When I think of my African-American friends (I am white), people who are college-educated professionals, I realize that they, like Ms. Jones, may be pulled over by a police officer or treated badly in a store or restaurant. One of my friends told me once that she gets stared at in stores, as if she might be a shoplifter! Some of my African-American friends have had to overcome many obstacles in order to survive and succeed. Many of these obstacles are historically based, such as poverty, segregation, prejudice.


Of course, many white people have had to overcome such barriers to success as well, but certainly it is not the same. Thank you, Ms. Jones, for this article and I am looking forward to more discussions!


Elizabeth Rexford

Oak Park

 

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