Nail on the head
I read the column in the Durham News written by Mr. Terry McCann (DN, nando.com/1c1). If ever I read an article that hit the nail on the head regarding the Black/White problem, and what are some solutions, that was it.
Mr. McCann, a black man, did not blame white people for virtually every problem between the races, as does Sharpton, Barber, and ex-Attorney Eric Holder. McCann accurately reflected the feelings of both races.
When a young black man was killed, the black politicians, activists, and many clergy proclaimed that “that boy could have been my son.” That would certainly be correct if the young man had run from the police, or made overt actions that necessitated the police action.
Conversely, whites are too quick to react, more out of fear, based on what they have heard,read, seen on television, or listened to conversations with acquaintances or peers.
Many of my friends and associates question why we never hear the black leaders in this city and state acknowledge the numerous murders, and all the crimes committed by their own race. These same leaders will be the first to shout, threaten further mayhem, even condone the rioting and damage that occurs in their parts of town, when a white person has been charged. I might add, that these same persons are always ready to stand before a TV monitor or microphone, which never helps ease the tense situations.
Mr. McCann should be applauded, and I just hope and sincerely pray that the people of Durham, both black and white, read, and reread, his excellent and thought-provoking article.
White without guilt
I found Jesse James DeConto’s column on “White Privilege” (DN, nando.com/1bb) very thoughtful.
Like Mr. DeConto, I am a child of privilege, the son of two college graduates, beneficiary of an excellent public school system – at least for white students. Like Mr. DeConto, I disagree with the sentiment that everyone in our society has the same opportunities, a “level playing field.” In my career as an educator, and in my contributions of money and volunteering to make our country more equitable, I hope I have made some difference, but we certainly still have a ways to go.
But I differ with Mr. DeConto in that I don’t have any feelings of guilt. I didn’t create the system of segregated schools, and I’m glad they’re gone; I’m not guilty for what I didn’t do. I worked hard to treat my students the same, regardless of race or class. And while I have worked for social justice causes, I also worked to give my sons every advantage so they too can rise as high as their talents allow.
One further thought about us Privileged Folk. While I lacked for nothing growing up, several of my peers came from far wealthier backgrounds. Privilege is a relative, not absolute, quality. And even the least advantaged Americans live a life with far more safety and opportunity than hundreds of millions around the world – which is why so many still come here and succeed in making a better lives for themselves, even given the obstacles of our unequal playing fields.
Joe Swain Jr.