Remember who we are


I am elated that finally in this country the subject of race is being discussed.

For far too long, in my estimation, the subject has been avoided or spoken about in hushed tones for years and years. Why? I have never understood. Maybe it’s because during my past professional life as a counselor I worked with people to help them think through issues, discover feelings, and emotions they never were conscious was there.

Racism means having the belief in the superiority of one race over another. It may also include prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed at other people because they are of different race or ethnicity. There! I’ve said it out loud! That felt good. Let it out!

When the current president made the announcement that he was going to make a run for that office, he came down an escalator in New York City and said, “Mexicans are rapists, killers, drug lords who are infesting ‘our’ country.” According to the definition of racism that statement he made was racist. If it walks and quacks like a duck, then it is a duck.

The United States is a country of laws. If we as citizens break the law, it is understood that there are consequences. For example, if people come across our borders, northern and southern, illegally, a civil law has been broken and appropriate punishment should be applied — removal. However, if people seeking asylum and designated as refugees, enter the U.S. through the proper channels, ports of entry, that is legal in this country and internationally. The president makes it sound as if all people south of the border, are traveling in caravans composed of dope dealers, criminals, rapists, and terrorists. Again, walking and quacking like a duck.

The problem, besides making racist statements, is the besmirching and dehumanizing of people. This process makes it easier to disregard people as people and treat them as deplorable animals rather than desperate individuals in need of assistance.

We, as a nation, need to remember who we are. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” I believe that. Do you?

Bettie Julkes, Payson

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(3) comments

James Wise

Race was an issue in this country before its founding. It hasn't gone away. Some would say that this issue is most definitive of America, woven into the fabric of our society. If anyone ever had a simple answer to the problem, I expect they would have shared it by now.

I think that, as a term of art, "racism" is more of a machete than a scalpel. It manifests in many ways, with various purposes and to different degrees. It may be explicit and ideological. It may be systemic. It may be unconscious. It may be dangerous, contemptible, pathetic , silly. I think there are a couple problems with the machete (blunderbuss, sledgehammer, paint-with-the -same-brush) diagnosis. Directed at an individual, it inspires immediate defensiveness and makes denial too easy. In society, uniting an array under the rubric the worst, it does half the job of a demagogue for him. Or at least that is the way it seems to be working out.

Phil Mason

Sure, we believe in the sentiment on the Statue of Liberty. Of course, what you infer is that the inscription says violate our laws, pay thousands to drug lords and participate in human and drug smuggling. That is NOT what we believe in.

Ellis Island was nest door to the Statue and immigrants had to pass medical examination, demonstrate skills and demonstrate a desire to assimilate into the tapestry of America.

We have Ports of Entry for the purpose of identifying those coming into our home. We also have the largest number of legal immigration of any country in the world, which is conveniently ignored by the left wingtip democrats that see illegal immigration as future votes.

It is egregious for elected officials to advocate and support actions against the laws. I hope you do not ascribe to that irresponsible position.

James Wise

"More than 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954—with a whopping 1,004,756 entering the United States in 1907 alone. And yet, even during these days of peak immigration, for most passengers hoping to establish new lives in the United States, the process of entering the country was over and done relatively quickly—in a matter of a few hours."

"Just 2 percent of immigrants at Ellis Island were denied entry to the United States."

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