Dear Ms. Carroll,
The Guardian is one of my favorite publications and I’ve been following the story in Ferguson, Missouri. I wanted to take this opportunity to answer some of the points in your post.
Well I am considered “white.” olive skinned is probably more accurate. I am going to have to quibble about building a racist system in the United States. The first member of my family showed up on American shores in 1903. Hmmm, then again being Jewish it is normally “Out of the frying pan and into the fire.” No one in my family was a planter, like Robert E. Lee.
I’ve heard we need to have a national conversation about race, but I will be honest. I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Personally, I hope that with what science is learning about DNA and better racial attitudes among the kids this will work itself out in our lifetimes. (My seventeen year old niece sees my generation even discussing race as racist in itself).
I haven’t judged the Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson yet. I want to see all the evidence come out, though his department leaves much to be desired in certainly not protecting and serving, but owning the streets and not releasing the officers name immediately. I would love to hear his side of the story, but for now on, everything is going through lawyers.
Getting Missouri Highway Captain Ron Johnson on the scene was a welcome relief. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson already have Officer Wilson tried and lynched. In a perfect world, not how our system is supposed to work and again, the Ferguson Police Department leaves much to be desired for how they have behaved when this happened.
I have black friends, African-American, Caribbean and from Africa. My Dad raised me to treat people as individuals. If my friends are under attack, I stand up for them. Just that simple.
As for dismantling systematic racism. If I had a clue as to how to do it, I would, but that means I am in Nobel Peace Prize Territory, and I don’t think I’m that good.
Thank you for allowing me to respond.