DEAR READERS: Yesterday I began sharing some of the many comments from my readers regarding racism. Today I will continue. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: Thomas Anthony Jones Sr. is simply wrong in his statement that "there is no racism in the African-American community in the United States." Is he right when he says that black people are "discriminated against on a daily basis because of ... color"? Absolutely. Does that mean that only people belonging to the historically oppressive group can be labeled as racists? Absolutely not!
The pain of oppression is real and sharp. It shouldn't blind anyone, however, to the plain fact that racists come in all shapes and sizes, and yes, in all colors. You said it best, Abby, in your answer to "Cincinnati Educator": "Racism is never 'OK,' regardless of the skin color of the bigot." -- NEAL SUMMERLIN IN VIRGINIA
DEAR NEAL: To that I will add that racism and prejudice are a cancer of the spirit. They invade and destroy everything they touch. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 16-year-old Asian-American. Mr. Jones declaring in an absolute statement that there is "no racism in the African-American community in the United States" is simply not true. Unfortunately, I have encountered racism from African-American individuals numerous times.
I fully believe that the majority of African-Americans living in the United States are not racist, but I was extremely annoyed to read about someone declaring that there's none at all. I have noticed in general, whenever race relations are discussed in the U.S., it's always a matter of black or white. I think it's unfair not to include the opinions of other minorities, especially the increasingly growing Hispanic and Asian minorities that are projected to outgrow all other ethnic groups in the coming years. -- JI H. CHONG, CATONSVILLE, MD.
DEAR JI: If your perception is true, I agree with you that it's unfair. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: As a proud Hispanic teen-ager, I found Thomas A. Jones Sr. to be driving in the wrong direction. His so-called "defense philosophy" is merely an excuse for intolerable behavior. His comment, "A black person is always surrounded by whites with racist attitudes," truly aggravated me. He implies that racism is a black-and-white issue when truly it is not.
Mr. Jones should be teaching his children to love, not retaliate. Just because others' beliefs are immoral does not mean that you should make the same mistake. As long as society continues to make this an attack-and-defend situation, how can we ever make any progress? -- KATRINA N. MONTANEZ, ARIZ.
DEAR KATRINA: That's the million-dollar question. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I, too, am African-American, and for Mr. Jones to say there is no racism within the black community is an outright lie. While I cannot deny our country's heritage of slavery and bigotry, to say it is fine for blacks to hate white people because of this is nonsense. I should know. I was once a black militant, filled with hatred. Thankfully the Lord blessed me with eyes to see that my hate was killing me and no one else.
Ignorant people of all races hate with or without cause. It is that simple. The means do not justify the end. -- KIMBLEY M. FORREST, MINISTER, ALIVE MINISTRIES, NEW YORK
DEAR READERS: As you can see, when I told you the comments from readers were terrific, I wasn't exaggerating. I'll have more tomorrow.