LETTERS

You should feel uncomfortable

Posted 3/3/21

To the Editor: The Cranston City Council recently passed a direct and clear Black History Month resolution, kudos to them. It seems straightforward to acknowledge the legacy of white supremacy, slavery, Jim Crow and the other ugly facts of U.S. history.

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LETTERS

You should feel uncomfortable

Posted

To the Editor:

The Cranston City Council recently passed a direct and clear Black History Month resolution, kudos to them. It seems straightforward to acknowledge the legacy of white supremacy, slavery, Jim Crow and the other ugly facts of U.S. history.

However, some members thought constituents would be “uncomfortable” with the proposed language. A minor adjustment was made, and the resolution passed.

My concern, and I presume that of many others, is the notion that the language of the resolution was problematic because some people would be uncomfortable with it. That is precisely the point. If you have ignored the history of American oppression of minorities and ongoing systemic racism, then this resolution should make you uncomfortable. If you lived through the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, etc., without voicing your opposition to racism, you should feel uncomfortable.

If today you do not actively engage in anti-racist behavior, you should feel uncomfortable. Those, like me, who profit from our unearned white privilege, owe a debt that we can only repay by being uncomfortable, acknowledging our shared history of systemic racism and working to mitigate racism where it lives, in everyday racist opinions and comments to its embodiment in state and federal law.

Racists need no quarter, no respite, no shield. They should be perpetually uncomfortable. If you are uncomfortable, ask yourself why. The honest answer may be ugly, but necessary for recovery.

Sean Hagberg, PhD

Cranston

council, resolution

Comments

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John Stark

If I understand Mr. Hagberg, the following should feel "uncomfortable": racists, consumers of government resolutions, anti-racists, Mr. Hagberg, himself, and virtually everyone else. And btw, how exactly does one "engage in anti-racist behavior"?

In the absence of actual racist incidents or language, those trolling in the grievance industry are forced to manufacture new and purposely unprovable concepts ("systemic racism", "white privilege", and my personal favorite "unconscious bias") as proxy for their virtue signaling. When one's identity is linked to fighting a boogeyman, in this case "racism", you will go to any length to insist that the boogeyman is behind every tree. And if you don't believe he's behind every tree, you should be made to feel "uncomfortable". America is not "systemically racist". Most folks simply want to go about their business, be left alone, and not be the constant cathartic target of guilt-ridden white liberals.

Friday, March 5