To the editor: Even before the inauguration, many of us felt that the slogan “Make America Great Again” was ill-conceived. But few imagined that the GOP would betray its commitment to continuing the development of civil rights in our nation. The results of a recent poll are depressing for those who are committed to getting beyond the racism that exists in our nation: “64 percent of Americans think racism is a ‘major problem,’ and 45 percent think race relations are getting worse.”
It is important for each of us to realize that the worsening of racism means that persons of color are suffering, daily, from the dehumanization resulting from continuing discrimination, harassment and retaliation. That is a sad commentary on the state of a nation whose values state “liberty and justice for all.”
The disconnect, or misalignment, between our nation’s stated values and those values and behaviors that we see, daily, must not continue.
Karl Strandberg, Long Beach
To the editor: The statement that Republicans left "for dead" the bill that would eliminate juvenile solitary confinement was chilling, as was the entirety of Juan Williams' salient op-ed on racism and the Republican Party..
The GOP has normalized the absolute amorality of its leader, and has embraced many of his characteristics. Amorality, in my estimation, is a far more frightening condition than immorality. Amorality encompasses brazen immorality without batting an eye, with complete lack of empathy or remorse. The party has taken its cue from the racist dog-whistles of President Trump and has turned a blind eye to the civil rights issues facing us today. It's difficult to talk about solutions when you can't even start the conversation.
This Republic is eroding before our eyes, and we are plagued with a Congress that is not willing to put country before party to ensure equality for all and to help to right the injustices we witness every day. This chaotic environment makes it more than challenging to teach ethics.
Rebecca Hertsgaard, Palm Desert
To the editor: So Juan Williams is surprised about the metamorphosis of the Republican Party from a supporter of civil rights to the party of Jim Crow.
In lieu of placing the preponderance of blame at the feet of Donald J. Trump and his fellow GOP lackeys in Congress, it's better to afford a deeper dive into the recent history of that party. Ever since Richard Nixon's “Southern strategy” in the 1968 presidential campaign, the party of Lincoln has transitioned to something more like the party of George C. Wallace.
Nixon's “law and order” slogan was directed at white Southern voters dismayed by the Democratic Party's embrace of civil rights. It escalated when then-candidate Ronald Reagan commenced his fall campaign against Jimmy Carter in 1980 in Philadelphia, Miss. The same locale where civil rights workers were murdered in 1964.