To the editor:

Mr. Gralinski, you are correct, sir.

We have come a long way, baby, from the days of living in chains for African Americans and the days of women living as chattel for our husbands. But when white men, who have never lived among a truly diverse population, pontificate about the advancements of another race, I call B.S.

To assume that another’s perspective on their status in our nation’s society is not worthy nor warranted is a bit much to digest from a place of privilege. You may have never been a “massa,” and the Civil War may have concluded many moons ago, but the wounds inflicted run deep. You seem to think that slavery was dismantled by the snap of a legislative whip, but with the legacy of Jim Crow, the crack cocaine epidemic that was largely ignored or simply managed through mass incarceration creating several generations of single family households, rampant unemployment based on skin color, and squashed opportunities leading to the institution of Affirmative Action to level the playing field and the following public outrage by white men as a backlash against it.

You are right, what on earth is at issue here? There has been a slow crawl to advancement, but in the eyes of the oppressed, it is at a snail’s pace. With regard to the monuments, as an art historian, I get it, but as an American whose family fought in that massive Union Army you spoke of, I adhere to the idea of not having reminders of the whip and chain on public display and opt for a more historical presentation/preservation in a privately funded museum that requires effort to immerse one’s self in their deep seated love of the Confederacy and all that it still stands for, even in this modern day and age.

Thank you for your opinion, as we close on another Black History Month and cruise into Women’s History Month. To level the playing field, you should request a presidential proclamation (executive order) for “Very fine people on both sides” month and see how that goes over with the very population you have managed to disparage in your query. Good luck with that.

Elizabeth Ruediger


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