×

Readers Speak

All lives need values

Dear Editor,

Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.

But lives are a combination of body for action, mind for knowledge, and spirit for direction.

It is becoming more evident that the spiritual dimension of our lives is much less significant than it needs to be. From more violence to empty pews, it gets more obvious every day. No improvements will occur until we reinstall the awesomeness of the spirit into each soul of the majority of loving families in traditional two-parent homes of America.

Does anyone care?

Charles Merroth,

Warren

Privilege

matters in U.S.

Dear Editor,

“Our new government is founded … upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery … is his natural and moral condition.” — an excerpt from a speech by confederate Alexander Stephens, vice president to Jefferson Davis, at the beginning of the civil war. This quote is from the book “THESE TRUTHS” by historian Jill Lepore.

Unfortunately and depressingly, the founding of our nation is rooted in unconscionable moral depravity which is still alive and well in the hearts of many. While visiting the memorial park at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., the site of police brutality against civil rights protesters on March 7, 1965, I met one of the marchers who proudly showed me a scar on his forehead where he had been clubbed by a policeman all those years ago. He told me that the week before my visit someone had placed confederate flags all over the park. I told him that I felt like I had to apologize for the entire white race.

Regardless of the wonderful progress that has been made in civil rights, it is clear that some persons would prefer that things remain as they were. Empathy and consideration for blacks is not at the forefront of their thoughts. Rather, tribalism and narrow beliefs overshadow any larger sense of unity. This fundamental division in people’s moral sense of right and wrong is the reason that families split apart and brother fought brother during the civil war, and it is the cause of so much bigotry today. Back then, martyr John Brown’s failure to start an uprising across the south during his attack on Harpers Ferry, caused Robert E. Lee to label him a “fanatic or a madman.” At his trial before being hanged, Brown said “If it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and the blood of millions in this slave country, whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit.”

As a white male I am well aware of my white privilege. I have been privy to some of the conversations in the boys club of men in power. They were talking about their favoring of men over women when considering corporate advancement, but I suspect that anyone who would so dismiss an entire gender for the sake of business would discriminate against blacks if given the choice. Still, I do not know how to change the hearts of men, and fear it is as trying to change human nature. Black people themselves sometimes judge one another by the darkness of their skin, although that may be an ingrained reaction against trying to survive in a white dominated world. If it is not skin color corrupting moral integrity, it is religion, or money, or some other manufactured reason humans discriminate against one another. In that regard human beings are a woefully immature species.

I shall be on the streets if nothing changes, and I pray that wiser people than our present leaders will prevail and that genuine progress will arise from the present protests. When whites can recognize that it is not them who are being choked and shot in the back by police, and admit that the acquittal of O.J. Simpson by a mostly black jury was a predictable retribution from a victimized people, then we can move forward.

Wes Jacobs,

Warren

Newsletter

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
   

COMMENTS