Editor, The Beacon:

Is an image of a Black youth on stage with a fist raised a racist gesture? Rik Davis seems to think so. He objected to such a photo taken during the MLK celebration (Beacon, Feb. 2-8 edition). “The symbol,” he wrote, “is as racist as someone shouting ‘white power.’”

We whites often want to apply the same yardstick to symbolic actions and slogans used by Blacks and whites. All things being equal, we would be correct. But all things have not been equal. The daily news reminds us that they still aren’t. It’s important to remember context — history and current events — before reacting.

In myriad ways, society has told Black people that they are not worthy of the same rights and privileges as whites. It has told them that their lives do not matter. Hence, the insistence that “Black lives matter.”

Let’s applaud Black American assertions of power, rights and positive self-regard, particularly from youth. They are claiming their rightful place beside us in every arena. It is not a threat to the rest of us. Through vibrant diversity, we progress as a nation. Our overall well-being increases.

Some sweet day, these gestures and slogans will be as unnecessary as shouts of white power. We are not there yet.

Gail Radley



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