No comparison when it comes to bigotry

April 18, 2013 

Among the host of recent letters attacking Frankie Seaberry and her viewpoint, one chided her use of the term "simple Simons," an innocent though perhaps unfortunate term. But the sarcastic and supposedly tongue-in-cheek response served no purpose but to notch up the rhetoric.

If letter writer John Simon wants to equate Seaberry's remark with centuries of institutionalized bigotry, let's hear the depiction of how his ancestors were systematically plucked from their homes, placed in chains and forced into slavery. If after abolition his people were then subjected to a century of Jim Crow laws, random lynchings, then had fire hoses turned on them, got beaten or even murdered while trying to proclaim their freedom, we might acknowledge his outrage.

If he could then demonstrates how being subjected to segregation that barred people of his surname from economic opportunity, education, housing and jobs for generations, still today causing a culture of poverty and crime in many of his family's communities, we might be able to accept his outrage. But the problem is, he can't.

If someone dons the yoke of "oppression," they'd better be ready to back it up. Otherwise, that hissy fit of a letter did nothing except publicly belittle the suffering and oppression perpetrated upon an entire race of people in this country. The real outrage is when people act like it never happened, minimize its impact or won't even admit that its remnants are still flourishing today in this country.

Kevin J. Gagen


Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service