To the Editor:
I’m writing to express my deep disappointment in your article, “White County to be renamed Black County.”
Newspapers exist to serve their readers and their communities. Publishing that article was a disservice to both. We live in a divided world, and of our many differences, few are so painful or so timely as those centered around the topic of race relations.
The faces that make up the population of White County are not only white. They’re Black, Pilipino, Asian, Arabic, Jewish, and Latino. That article, printed on your front page but couched as satire, lent credence to the idea that racial discrimination is a joke, that it’s something about which to laugh. It further set apart those readers, already a slim minority in our community. You hurt them, Editor, with your irreverence.
There is a particular irony in that, in publishing this article, you demonstrated why it’s important to have protections in place to help victims of racism. People move here, Editor. A minority child recently relocated to Carmi wouldn’t have done anything to deserve the suspicious looks he might have gotten after your article invented “Cook County activists.” Did that happen? Maybe not. But it could have, and if it did, your story cultivated it. Seeds of division grow where they are planted.
And here’s a bit more food for thought,Editor. You didn’t just hurt the minority residents of White County. This article hurt the white people of White County, too.
Biases don’t only affect people of color. Every morning when I wake up, I look in the mirror at a Caucasian girl who grew up in a small, Southern Illinois town. The bias I face, living as I do in an urban area, is that because of my rural upbringing in a homogenous society, I’m less...
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