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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A time to go forward

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A time to go forward

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Have we wasted 56 years? Today’s racial unrest makes it look as though we have.

Only the impure at heart fails to empathize with those who suffered the oppressions of the past. A remaining wound to be healed is the friction between law enforcement and the black community. That is being used to accomplish the broader agenda of building a wall between races by those who want to divide the country.

Are we to go back to 1619 and throw some more mud by using supposed statements by Thomas Jefferson to plant the seed that one race will eventually get rid of another? That is not taking the right direction.

It doesn’t help to punish those who did not commit the crime. Let’s work on the present, not the past.

Mary Gutman’s letter published on Sept. 1 was not helpful. It was based on things that happened 40 years ago. What did stand out was her reference to injecting bias into her teaching. That is a small showing of the merged bias, racism and a lack of respect for America that has gone into the education of our children, many of whom will be out on the streets of Portland tonight.

Making slave importation illegal in 1807 was of little significance, because it didn’t abolish slavery. Hundreds of thousands of people gave their lives to do that during the 1860-1865 Civil War. Many Blacks rose to the occasion. They became senators, Congressmen and local leaders. Our Darlington County sheriff was Black right after the war. It was looking good.

Progress seemed to halt around 1900. Oppression found new ground. By the 1960s, with few exceptions, blacks were locked into a degrading existence.

Then came the Civil Rights Act promising equal rights. It was of slight effect from 1964 to 1980, but then it took off like gangbusters. Quotas gave Blacks more than equal opportunity. Black organizations, college funds, grants, subsidies and a slew of Black advantages took front seats.

We have a black leading the Congressional Caucus and a separate Black Congressional Caucus. We elected a Black president, Black senators and local leaders. There is truly an equal right for the American dream, provided you do not choose the ways of crime or self-destruction.

It is time to go forward, not backward. I hope America will find a way to digest what has been accomplished and build upon that instead of joining or allowing the undeserving to tear it down.

JIM HARRIS

Florence

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