As I contemplated the June 17 response by Brett Solem to Trib columnist LaRaine DuPuy and her points on the issue of racism in our society in her June 14 column, it occurred that several years ago I probably would have written a similar-sounding letter. I went to University High School and my mantra for many decades was “I went to a high school that was a third black, a third white and a third brown, and we all had an equal chance to make it out or screw it up.”
However, the last few years I have done a lot of work and research on understanding and identifying systemic, institutional racism in our society. I realize now that I did have an advantage over my classmates of color. Systemic racism isn’t about Mr. Solem and whether he is “courteous, kind and friendly to everyone,” it’s about the culture and society we live in and then learning what we can do to fix the inequalities. I’m sure Mr. Solem’s parents taught him well. Did they also imbue in him the sense of curiosity? I hope he will consider starting his own journey to understanding what the world is like away from his doorstep.
Cheryl Foster, Waco
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“It then takes continuous self-reflection.” So LaRaine DuPuy ends her June 14 Trib column challenging racism. Along the way, her moral challenge included quotes or paraphrases from a corporate CEO, the president of the local NAACP chapter and her church pastor.
None of us should be exempt from reflecting on words that potentially shake our complacency. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, wrote these shocking words in a Dec. 10, 1939, letter to Dr. Clarence J. Gamble: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”
A previous DuPuy column in the Trib noted the fact that she is a board member of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, which includes the facility on State Highway 6 in Waco. Planned Parenthood is the leading abortion provider in Waco and in our nation.
Numbers for the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood show a relationship with African Americans that aligns with those words written by Margaret Sanger. Abortion since Roe v. Wade has taken the lives of 20 million African-American babies. On average, 250 African-American babies die each day at Planned Parenthood facilities. African-American women are 13% of the American population and account for 38% of abortions in 2017. In New York City, more African-American pregnancies end in abortion than childbirth.
Ms. DuPuy, how do you judge the impact of these numbers on black America? Should a portion of abortion deaths be counted among the black lives that matter? If the number of African-American abortions is too high, how can we work to achieve systemic change? Let’s begin a dialogue.
John Pisciotta, Pro-Life Waco director
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Trib columnist and civic leader LaRaine DuPuy submitted a piece about a previous Sunday column that captured my feelings on the issues confronting us. Like her, I am on the journey of discovery. Mine just happens to be a little longer and covers places like Lubbock, Texas; Pullman, Washington; Reno, Nevada; Canyon, Texas; and Flint, Michigan. So it continues in Waco. A friend of mine in Dallas sent me the following poem that I would like to share. It’s attributed to Morgan Harper Nichols.
Let me hold the door for you.
I may have never walked
a mile in your shoes,
but I can see that
your soles are worn
and your strength is torn
under the weight of a story
I have never lived before.
So let me hold the door for you.
After all you’ve walked through,
it’s the least I can do.
Bob Kinney, Waco