Wrong way to fight racism

To the editor:

In the recent article “Panel explains how to be ‘anti-racist,'” assumptions are made that white citizens in America possess a subconscious, implicit bias and racism, influenced by our country’s heritage, and whose economy was built on slavery since 1619, establishing systematic institutional racism that is present today.

America was not an independent nation in 1619. It was a British colony. The institution of slavery was established here by the British, not the colonists. American did not become an independent nation until nearly 150 years later, in 1776. The nation since that time wrestled with slavery, leading to the Civil War, a terrible conflict that cost over 600,000 lives, greater than all U.S. deaths in the wars combined until the 1990s. Those deaths represent a costly blood atonement paid to right a wrong and to remove the evil institution of slavery.

The claim that the economy of our nation was built upon slavery is only partly true. It was the antebellum South’s economy that profited from the evil institution, and that was totally destroyed during the Civil War. Sherman’s march was just one example of the massive destruction inflicted upon the South to end the war, breaking its singular slave-based economy.

Nicky Hylton-Patterson laughingly states, “I know that most Americans do not like to hear about redistribution of anything … but you can’t talk about systemic racism without talking about capitalism, neo-liberal capitalism.” What nations that practice socialism are superior in their economy and social equality than ours? China? Venezuela? Cuba? North Korea? The former USSR?

Someone please explain the phenomenon why many around the world strive, at risk of life and limb, to enter our county and not the socialist nations. Are these people naive and foolish? Should they be warned not to come to such an oppressive country like America? Are the Black Americans successful in various endeavors within America’s capitalistic economy considered sellouts?

Labeling a specific group of people as being inherently prejudiced and holding them today obligated to pay for the sins of the past is not the way to address racism. I recommend that instead of focusing on alleged unconscious bias of people as a whole, focus on the party politics that enable racism today. The Democratic Party instituted slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow laws and segregation and fought against the Civil Rights Act. Democrats ran cities like Chicago since the 1930s that still remain broken today under their watch.

Members of the Black community don’t have to vote for Donald Trump or the Republicans, but they sure need to stop voting for Democrats who figuratively keep them on the plantation and treat them with soft racism of low expectations.

Ron Shirtz

Rensselaer Falls


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