Of such “isms” as racism, sexism and ageism, racism is the most talked about and written about. It is fraught with fear, bigotry, segregation, unfairness and suspicion. Racism is the gatekeeper for failure, and even misery for many Americans in schooling, the economy, health, religion and just about everything that matters, including “Black Lives Matter” and all lives. At least some racism may be media driven. It may be unwittingly practiced by people of goodwill who are not racists and may be practiced by some Americans of all races.
Racism breeds suspicion between races. For example, I suspect that some of the criticism and lack of respect for President Obama is because he is black. I suspect, also that Obama often does not get credit for the successes of his administration because he is black. I remember, however that whites as well as blacks voted overwhelmingly for him in both his campaigns. But I have also observed that some black people were antithetical to President George Bush because he is white. I am sometimes even suspicious of the predominately white church, even though I was ordained a Presbyterian elder by my late white pastor and white ministers marched with Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma, Ala. So, since racism is so rampant, sometimes suspicion is aroused when perhaps it should not be.
Racism is dangerous and ugly ... yet is always a campaign issue particularly at the national level. It is therefore important that we choose as president of the United States a man or woman who has no taint of racism in his or her record. I have no past solutions to eradicate racism. However, I offer the following for consideration: Perhaps if all of us at the individual level would recognize the good traits and deeds of members of other races, rather than hate them or feel superior to them, the quality of life of all Americans could be enhanced. Elected and appointed American political, social, civic, educational, religious, business and community leaders must work together at leading America out of the quagmire of racism. I promise to try.
Dr. Katie H. Wright, is a longtime educator and education advocate in East St. Louis. The Katie Harper-Wright Elementary School in East St. Louis is named for her.