The Recorder - ’Racism is a white problem and responsibility’

Published: 12/20/2020 2:57:04 PM I would like to thank Tolley Jones for her thoughtful and heartfelt My Turn (Dec. 15) in which she...


Published: 12/20/2020 2:57:04 PM

I would like to thank Tolley Jones for her thoughtful and heartfelt My Turn (Dec. 15) in which she described the day-to-day insults that are part of being a person of color in a society which defines whiteness as the norm. This was not merely thoughtful writing, it was an act of courage and should be recognized as such.

White people in this region and in this country must recognize that we benefit from racism in many ways. The easiest to point out is that we know we are not people of color and know we will not have to deal with the questions and stresses that this designation implies.

We must understand that regardless of the issues we confront, these problems are even more difficult for people of color. The overlay of racism in our society is constant and identifies people of color as being out of place as they just try to live their lives.

Tolley Jones’ My Turn clearly explains how even the most well-meaning white person can perpetrate insults without giving it a passing thought. If you are confronted by a person of color about something you said or did, the proper response is not “I did not really mean it” or “I am sure you misinterpreted it” or other self-protecting comments. The proper response is “I am sorry. I did not mean to say or do something offensive. How do I make it better?”. Then listen to the response and Cchange your behavior.

Racism is a white problem and responsibility. There is a lot of hard work ahead if we are to make our region, state, and country the centers of equity and equality that we say we want them to be. And the work that must be done must be largely done by white folks. Roll up your sleeves and get to work. There is no time to lose.

Susan Worgaftik

Greenfield



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Newsrust: The Recorder - ’Racism is a white problem and responsibility’
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