Letters to the Editor: Deploring racism isn’t the same as taking action to fight it

Black Lives Matter protesters
Black Lives Matter protesters demonstrate outside Los Angeles City Hall on July 5.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I believe it is misleading for Sandy Banks to suggest that white Americans believe Black people are less than fully human. It also lets people like me and my white liberal friends off the hook.

I don’t need to believe someone is sub-human to remain largely oblivious to systemic oppression and how I benefit from it. Before I become part of the solution I am going to have to admit that I am part of the problem, and I don’t know a single person who would admit to believing that Black people are inherently less worthy than anyone else.

I can tell myself I deplore racism and still refuse to accept any responsibility or to take any actions to mitigate it. So long as racism is defined as conscious and overt racial animosity, I am relieved of any obligations.

The problem is not Southern racists. The problem is us.

John Bauman, Los Angeles


To the editor: As an 86-year-old black man who attended the University of Michigan in 1951 with tuition paid by the state of Georgia because Jim Crow practices prevented me from attending the University of Georgia even though my grandmother resided less than one mile from the campus, I was never so impressed with a strong analysis of our 400 years of institutional racism as when I read Banks’ recent column.

William Hill, Sherman Oaks