Saturday, May 28, 2022
May 28, 2022

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Letter: Acknowledge America’s past


In response to Roy Schimelpfenig’s “We are not a racist nation” (Our Readers’ Views, Jan 4): There is certainly a wide-ranging history of discrimination within our nation, and it is not limited to race, although race leads the way.

Surely everyone has heard of slavery, the KKK and segregation; when minorities could not attend white schools, enter white businesses, drink at white water fountains or use white restrooms, and had to ride in the back of the bus. The military was not integrated until 1948. Many movies and early TV shows characterized minorities as inferior.

Closer to home, Oregon had exclusion laws that prohibited minorities within the state.

Legislation in the 1960s and subsequent judicial decisions brought about much superficial change, but the underlying biases are still here. The GOP has perfected the art of gerrymandering to minimize minority votes, or have closed or moved polling places to make it more difficult for any minority group to vote.

The Republican-sponsored “1776” project would have perpetuated the view of history as we would have liked it to be, not history as it was.

Denial of the past is not the solution. Acknowledging the past and working to make the future better for all should be our goal.

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