We should remember how we achieved the ‘most level playing field’

Countless people died, and we’re still not where we should be.

I want to respond to a couple of the letters in the Sept. 16 edition (“Stop looking for bigotry under every rock” and “Context is everything”), which seemed to push back a bit on the idea of systemic racism being a problem in the US. One writer seemed to suggest that showing outrage over social injustice was more of a publicity stunt than anything legitimate, and that it should not be encouraged.

The writer noted that the U.S. has the most level playing field of any country. Assuming that is true, it would be helpful to really look at how we got there. Ending the horror of slavery in the U.S. alone cost over half a million American lives in the Civil War. Only through massive continued protest, where protesters endured beating, death, lynching, false arrest, and every sort of abuse imaginable did African Americans even secure the right to sit in a diner, or on a bus seat, or use a public restroom, drinking fountain, etc.

Protests are always kind of ugly. And there are always people who want to exploit the issue and incite violence. But what is interesting is that history always, and I mean always, vindicates the protesters! Massive protests are always about grave injustice has that should not exist! The greatest tragedy about all of this is that people have had to fight so hard for so long just to be treated fairly. And the fight goes on.

By the way, any list of African-American authors that includes Candace Owens, but leaves out James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, and Toni Morrison deserves to be ignored.

Tom Thimgan