Letter to the Editor

How to address racism?

I'm an old white man who was raised amid racism and I'm at least partly responsible for this mess. We tried to make amends. We passed laws against discrimination and called for affirmative action. We provided financial assistance for food, housing, child care and more. We talked about the rightness of equality. But in spite of the laws, assistance, and rhetoric, we failed. Maybe things are a little better than they were. I'm not sure.

I've long felt that education is the key to solving society's problems, including racism. Educated people should know better. But even though we have become more educated during my lifetime, racism remains. Maybe it's not quite as rampant. I don't know.

But I know we've got to find the solution. Racism hurts every person in this country. Yes, it hurts the minorities most, but it hurts all of us by keeping our nation from being united and strong. I believe every problem has a solution, some more than one. We've just got to find it.

I'm convinced it will take more than money, laws and rhetoric to solve the problem. My generation tried those things, but racism remains and may have even gotten worse. And the people who riot, demonstrate, kneel, etc., don't know the solution either. They just know there's a problem and they want it solved.

Racism divides us in many ways. We must eliminate it or we will never reach our greatest potential.

Gary L. Gaines, Cape Girardeau