Letter: Left of Center and Big Assumptions

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Last week Ms. Ardell applauded “rising stars” for calling upon the Laguna School District, last spring, to “actively combat racism… in our community and abroad.” No racists nor acts of racism in Laguna were named or described. Apparently, we are to take the existence of racism as established. It is assumed.

This week we are told that the history of Blacks in America and the role of white Christian churches “in racial injustice” must be rewritten. Yet, slavery and its aftermath have been written about by historians and others, black and white, extensively, for over 100 years.  That some of the founding fathers were slave owners is, of course, well known. Nonetheless, apparently, there exists some unspecified distortion or omission. It is assumed.

What may not be widely taught in American schools is how widespread slavery was at the time of the Civil War, including on the African continent; how there was no war of the magnitude of the Civil War fought to end slavery; and how and where slavery persists in the world today.

I don’t share Ms. Ardell’s shame over the white church’s abetting of “racial injustice”, any more than, I believe, a German citizen today should feel shame about the Holocaust. Nor do I take personal pride in the fact that the abolitionists were by and large, primarily, white Christians. I do realize that I am not an exceptional person and most likely would have been a Reb if I’d been born below the Mason-Dixon Line. 

Basing public policy on perceived guilt can be a mistake. Some have opined that the Germans have learned the wrong lesson from Hitler’s World War II, namely: They may have learned that fighting is evil; whereas what they should have learned is that the failure to fight evil, is evil.

Douglas Warren, Laguna Beach

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