Why we need to talk about race and racism

October 09, 2012

Thanks for your two excellent commentaries by Stephanie A. Flores-Koulish and Lionel Foster ("Lost lesson of the Indian schools," and "What we (don't) talk about when we (don't) talk about race," Oct. 5).

Ms. Flores-Koulish's piece about American "Indian schools" reminds me of the effort of our European-immigrant forebears to obliterate an entire ancient civilization and culture in order to take over its land. The empire builders from the so-called "Christian" nations of Europe who invaded this continent after Columbus practiced a systematic genocide and slavery that is well documented, including in records maintained by church officials.

In a counterpoint, Mr. Foster notes the futility of pretending to "solve" racial problems without talking about them. Only when everyone in a large, multicultural society such as ours learns to respect the human rights of others can we make progress, and that will not be possible until we talk the issues out until they become part of our basic cultural value system.

Edgar C. Ludwig, Baltimore

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