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OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Education on racism | Celebrating killing? | All a communist plot

June 6, 2021 at 8:38 a.m.

Education on racism

Several memes caught my attention recently: "Racism: the most dangerous pre-condition in the United States" and "It's a privilege to educate yourself about racism instead of experiencing it."

We need to learn and own our past. I highly recommend Isabel Wilkerson's books "Caste" and "The Warmth of Other Suns" to learn painful incidents most whites have never heard of. They will break your heart.

Sanitized history is not going to heal the pre-condition. Ignorance is not a cure but a curse. Willful ignorance is just plain deadly.

Have you allowed yourself to be vulnerable enough to talk with your Black friends and learn their anguish and fear? Are you aware that your friend may fear for the life of her father, husband, brother, or son every time he walks out the door? Have you heard about the times they have been pulled over when driving while Black or about the genius Black teenager whose 6'8" height always brought comments about a career in basketball instead of the MIT education his hard work and intelligence warranted? Can you understand (something I had never even pondered until the words were spoken by a friend) that July 4 meant nothing to her since it brought no equality or independence to her ancestors?

Curiosity. It's true that it can be dangerous. But arrested curiosity is equally dangerous. May we all continue to seek new knowledge, new facts. We may have to fight our state government to do so. Heaven forbid that we learn something worthwhile!

MARY REMMEL WOHLLEB

Little Rock

Celebrating killing?

While murdering unarmed animals may fit the common definition of sport, it more realistically falls under the genetics definition, meaning mutation.

Celebrating such killings with trophies and media coverage reflects either a severe sickness or a need to overcome feelings of inferiority. Maybe the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette sports editors could take the lead in addressing these problems by not covering the killings and, instead, publishing the contact information for mental health facilities that specialize in curing the mutants who kill defenseless creatures in the name of sport.

BRUCE PLOPPER

Conway

All a communist plot

Bradley Gitz's "Equity is Marxism" column is a reprise of his "cultural Marxism" theme in which he seeks to erect a Marxist framework around contemporary political conflicts in order to disparage those advocating for change. It is also a column full of nonsense and gibberish.

Gitz argues that cultural Marxists "shifted the focus away from Marx's historical revolutionary class, the proletariat, to groups defined by race and ethnicity." Instead of the traditional class struggle, we now find ourselves facing struggles about "skin color, gender identity, or sexual preference."

Without Marxist influence, Gitz seems to suggest, America would have remained as it was in the idyllic '50s. That is nonsense. Rosa Parks and the others who boycotted the buses in Montgomery did not require Marxist dialectics to know that segregation was wrong. Emmett Till's family and neighbors knew that there was no justice. And every gay or trans kid in America knew the stigma of being different. Marx had nothing to add to their lived experiences or their desire for a fuller, freer life.

Nonsense turns to gibberish when Gitz introduces the concept of equity. The Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines "equity" as "the quality of being fair or impartial; fairness." Gitz, however, sees equity not as procedural fairness, but as imposing a requirement for equality of outcome. In Gitz's world, people who seek equity in treatment aren't just asking for a level playing field, they are demanding a piece of the prize.

"In race-based Marxism," he argues, "... discrimination is going to have to be practiced by the state to effectively redress the disparities caused by past discrimination." Gitz uses the fear of governmentally imposed outcomes to avoid any discussion of ways to level the playing field. He and the alt-right and white nationalist proponents of the cultural Marxism framework assert that the costs and benefits of past discrimination are baked into our lives and there's nothing we can do about it.

Fairness is a commie plot. Folks, you saw it first in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

EARL ANTHES

Forrest City

They're not patriots

My dad fought in World War II for our democracy and earned many medals, including a Purple Heart. He also suffered from PTSD, even though not diagnosed at the time. My mom described sleepless nights, terrors and sweats for a period after his return. He also lost his brother fighting in WWII. He would rarely talk of the action in the war.

Dad hunted with a shotgun, not a gun designed to kill people. He also served in the Reserves as well as the IRS until his retirement. He was buried with shrapnel in his back from WWII.

Our family was raised in an environment of doing the right thing, a respect for authority, and the realization that sacrifices need to be made even though it might help your personal well-being. Growing up we played army, but by adolescence we all had responsibilities which led to babysitting jobs for my sisters, and paper routes and mowing jobs for the males. Army games disappeared, education and employment became our priority. I also took civics, which a prior letter-writer seemed to dismiss.

As the radical right forms "militias" like Proud Boys and discuss the overthrow of our democracy due to some insane belief that this is in the Constitution is childish and a lie. The first line of The Constitution states "We the people ... insure domestic tranquility" which I believe makes the Jan. 6 insurrection a terrorist event. Your militias and crazy ideas about being "patriots" are utterly baseless. You need to grow up and realize my vote and that of all the citizens of the U.S. are equally valid. You lost the election, so grow up and try to win the next election.

To Cotton and Boozman, you are not patriots for your "no" vote on the Jan. 6 commission. Subsequent terrorist events by these groups will be your responsibility.

ANDY CONNAUGHTON

Vilonia

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