Lowe: Time for a new American way
In response to Theresa Verboort of Hillsboro, July 9, 2020, "Childish violence won't solve racial injustice."
Several comments she made really concerned me, and yes, I respect her right to her opinion. She said, "All citizens have the right to fair treatment." I agree. She also said, "I understand the rage behind some of the violence." I concur.
But here is where she lost me. She said, "Get out the vote. Run for office if you want to make lasting change. Do it the American way."
Doing things the American way is what has gotten us into this mess in the first place. Committing acts of genocide against the Indigenous people of the North American continent was the American way. Enslaving Africans from the African continent was the American way as well.
How about the 400 years of ill treatment that followed? What about Jim Crow laws? No civil rights? The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.? These were all the American way.
Oh, how about when Black Americans achieved a little measure of success in places like Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Rosewood, Florida? Those folks were met with acts of horrendous violence, destruction of private property, looting and the loss of their lives, all consistent with the American way. They were American citizens with the "right to fair treatment" as well. How did that work out for them?
So Theresa, I too understand the rage behind some of the violence. Black Americans have voted. They have run for elected office and won. A Black American was even president of the United States.
Yet here we are. It is 2020, and we have Black Americans shot to death while jogging by white men in Georgia, young Black American women shot to death in their beds in the middle of the night by policemen with "no-knock warrants." And, yes, Black American men being killed in the streets while begging for mercy from a policeman with his knee on his neck.
Yes, Theresa, the violence must stop. Americans must demand change to that which brought us to the point of such violence in the first place — things like an unfair criminal justice system, brutal police tactics against Americans of color, housing discrimination, discrimination in the workplace, discrimination in banking, and so forth and so on. COVID-19 is even killing Black and Brown citizens at a greater rate than whites.
As I watch the violence and destruction in Portland on a nightly basis, it appears to me to be mainly white Americans doing the fighting, looting, burning and engaging with the police in combat.
It is time to get back on point, that being equality for Black Americans. It is time to settle this thing at the table with new laws that will live up to the promise of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and have liberty and justice for all. Black Lives Matter, and it is time to make things right.
How about making a new American way; let us treat our Black and Brown American citizens equally for a change.
Ted Lowe is a Hillsboro resident.
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