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Letter: Ignoring racial prejudice wouldn’t make it just disappear

Letter: Ignoring racial prejudice wouldn’t make it just disappear

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Regarding the letter “Teaching social justice topics could cause racial division” (May 4): As a resident of Webster Groves, and as a Black man, I am proud that our school district and many of my fellow residents of all racial backgrounds are attempting to tell the whole story concerning racism and social injustice in this country.

Does anyone think this problem would just go away if some continue to ignore it or wish it away? That isn’t how we teach our kids to solve problems. Root-cause analysis is an essential tool in most academic disciplines. Social justice issues shouldn’t be exempt from a search for the truth. Teaching empathy, compassion for others and understanding should be part of parenting skills.

Here is an admonishment I pray all white people eventually come to understand and own: For people of color, racism and social injustice are evils that we must endure, challenge and hopefully survive. For white people, racism and social injustice are evils that they bear the primary responsibility to resolve and eliminate. The shackles and chains we wear are not our own. Nothing would begin to be resolved until whites all come to that realization that they are, knowingly or not, part of the problem. Heed the religious lessons of compassion, reconciliation and atonement. Own it and fix it. Or at least stay out of the way of those who are part of the solution.

Kevin D. Brackens • Webster Groves

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