It was an ugly thing. Short. To the point. It used words to describe Hispanic people and black people that we all know, but all decent people hate. It used words we won’t print, words that sink to the pit of your stomach and gnaw at you, words chained to the darkest chapters of our history — all in an unsigned e-mail to complain about the state of a park in Comal County.

If that makes you angry, good. You should be.

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(2) comments

Jim Sohan

Excellent editorial, you've hit the nail on the head. I highly recommend Ibram X. Kendi's book, How to Be an Antiracist. It's an excellent read on this very topic and very enlightening in how his viewpoint and opinions evolved over time.

Bruce Carpenter

Thank you for this excellent editorial and its message that needs to be heard. Many people conflate systemic racism with individual racism. At this very moment, Merriam Webster is rewriting the definition of racism to acknowledge systemic racism's role in disadvantaging minorities more clear. If you have an interest in this you can read more about it here -

Systemic racism is a system of social and institutional power that disadvantages some and advantages others based on the color of their skin or ethnic heritage. It is without question that we live in a systemic racist society. Systemic racism impacts economic and job opportunities, housing, education, healthcare, and so many other aspects of daily life.

I believe the thought that "Racism is a system of advantage based on skin color" recognizes in Racism the existence of White Privilege. This is in my view an important advance for thinking about the issue of Racism. It also disadvantages the argument advanced by some, "I am not a racist." It forces them to understand that individual racism is not the most important point. We cannot excuse ourselves from the brutal reality of Systemic Racism by proclaiming we are individually Racist. Until we recognize, deal with, and eradicate Systemic Racism, merely by being a part of a Racist System, we are by definition Racist. We need to recognize it to be able to deal with it.

White privilege doesn’t mean your life hasn’t been hard. It just means the color of your skin wasn’t one of the things that made it harder.

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