To the Editor:
Pastor Randall, imagine a track where 10 runners compete for their team’s blue ribbon. Five of the runners start 10 yards behind the others. In a 100-yard dash, the handicapped have no chance of winning.
John, you wrote a distressing letter (6/24/20) titled “Whites Should Not Be Blamed.” You say whites have not handicapped Blacks on the race track of life. The cause of Black suffering is the Blacks themselves.
For you success and achievement are easy: graduate from high school, get a good job, work hard, avoid affairs, avoid out of wedlock pregnancy and give your life to Jesus. No group of people can be so injured, damaged, violated that they cannot recover with a will.
John, you know Black persons’ history: “They came in darkness and they came in chains.” Today, many Black people are still strangled by shackles.
Almost every decade in the past 200 years had its race riots: 1744, 1822, 1831, 1892, 1922, 1964 and 1965 where Blacks displayed their rage and terror. Watts, Chicago, Detroit, New York. Mob violence against blacks, lynchings, the KKK, slavery and the Civil War.
Again and again Blacks strike out not because they are lazy, ignorant, shiftless, but because they are angry, afraid, too often helpless. A 10-yard handicap where each yard is a blow.
After a 1992 race riot in Chicago, a commission seeking the causes reported on the problem: “The testimony of court officials before the Commission and its investigations indicates that Negroes are more commonly arrested, subjected to police identification, and convicted than white offenders, that on similar evidence they are generally held and convicted on more serious charges, and that they are given longer sentences.”
Racial profiling is a form of stereotyping that has implications for non-whites. Sociologists have defined racial profiling as any action undertaken for reasons of safety, security or public protection that relies on stereotypes about race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, religion or place of origin.
White racism is a uniquely American trait, often visible. Police pull over Black drivers in white neighborhoods. Employer refuses to hire Black person.
There are exceptions: Pete Kadens gives Scott High School graduates free college. Investment company Blackrock advances racial equity and inclusion.
Pastor, to shorten the 10 yards of difference, why not gather your congregation with Warren AME or Third Baptist Church?