Whites must learn more about effects of racism

Updated 6/22/2020 10:31 AM

On June 19, 1865, almost 250 years of slavery in America was fully over. Racism, however, persists. Those of us lucky enough to be born white should try to understand how prejudice and discrimination affect the lives of blacks and other minorities.

For example, people generally do not watch us suspiciously, make derogatory comments or even call the police when we are merely shopping, eating out, jogging or observing nature.


We can also generally assume that law enforcement will protect us and our loved ones without confronting us unnecessarily or using excessive or lethal force. Many minorities, especially black males, have had far different experiences.

Minorities have often been denied home or business loans or kept from renting or buying in an area because of skin color.

Therefore, they often have less access to excellent schools and to jobs with good health insurance, jobs that may permit safe work from home during a pandemic.

Lack of options for fresh, nutritious food and the stress of enduring prejudice and discrimination can lead to poorer overall health, part of why COVID-19 has often hit black and Latino communities so much harder. On top of all this, some state governments and others find ways to suppress minority votes and participation in democracy.

To be sure, progress has been made over the years, but social injustice against those of color is still very common. We who enjoy the privileges of having been born white need to learn more about the harm caused by systemic racism and encourage others to do so as well. We must then work hard to make America great by helping build a society that truly recognizes that "all men (all people) are created equal" and acts on multiple levels to ensure "liberty and justice for all."

Cliff Darnall


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