Editor, The Beacon:
This letter was written in response to a letter by Darrick D. McGhee Sr., chair of the Florida Commission on Human Relations, that was published in the Feb. 24-March 2 issue of The Beacon:
Sir! Your title and mission statement sound much like the BS I was treated to in 1943 — my first year in junior-high school. Since the 1970s, it has always been fashionable to give a “human relations” title to some Black person.
The job usually had the title “commissioner,” but it had no effective authority — certainly no punitive power. In effect, it existed to make the governor look good — he hired a Black person to do a titularly meaningful job.
We had “fellowship meetings” where the only participants were Black.
Our white teacher (Blacks couldn’t get those jobs then) told us of the need to build a community free of discrimination, hate crimes and intolerance. But we weren’t the ones doing those things.
Our country was awash in race riots, which were just white people killing Blacks for no reason. Remember, we were outmanned everywhere but in the South — where terrorism reigned.
You are writing this tripe at a time when your employers are stripping away as many of our voting rights as possible, when more Blacks, per capita, are dying of COVID, and when racial injustice is at its highest point in years.
Black history implies learning about our history in America.
Human-relations education/change begins with the powerful, not the powerless. The majority, not the minority!
Learning about Black accomplishments has done nothing to improve human relations in my 89 years.
As long as poor whites succumb to the belief that rich people deserve to be on top, and “at least I ain’t no N-word,” your job is safe for the next 89 years. Your article’s heading should be: (Whites) need … to build an environment free of discrimination.
Julius C. Bennett