Letter to the editor

First, we have to admit there is a problem or there is no way we can possibly begin to try to solve it.

The Civil War was started because of “systemic White racism.” Also, a partial list of historical truths, is the Homestead Property Acts, which almost totally excluded Blacks from receiving free land. Look it up. This is systemic White racism.

The GI Bill of 1944 was supposed to benefit all honorably discharged World War II veterans with low-cost home mortgages, high school, vocational education, college tuition and living expenses and low-interest loans to start a business. The problem was, the VA handed over the authority to make the loans to the banks.

When Blacks tried to get the loans to buy homes in Black neighborhoods, they were denied and if they even tried to buy into the overwhelmingly White suburbs, they faced rampant racism.

In 1947 only two of more than 3,200 VA-guaranteed home loans went to Blacks in Mississippi. Also in the North, New York and northern New Jersey suburbs had fewer than 100 of 67,000 mortgages go to non-Whites. Their attempts at business loans went the same way.

How were they supposed to accumulate wealth?

They weren’t, are you getting the picture? This is systemic White racism. Then there is the practice of red-lining, and Jim Crow, both systemic White racism.

In 1961 I got a job at a factory in Owosso. At the time, Owosso was called “The White Citadel” and I soon learned why. We were having our lunch break when I overheard two ladies talking. One lady said she heard there was a Black family wanting to move in to Owosso, to which the other lady replied not to worry and that they would just give them a note like they did the last Black family that tried. This is systemic White racism.

And finally, what is it about the words Black Lives Matter that you find so threatening? It’s a positive statement of love. It reflects no negativity on White lives. Given the way they’ve been treated since they were brought to America as slaves, they just want people to know that they share equal citizenship with you and should have the same protections and respect as human beings, as you do.

Patricia Wheeler


(2) comments


Great Letter, Patricia. In 1955 St. Paul was tearing down the old church to build a new one. There were African Americans on the demolition crew and they could not get served in any restaurants in town so they ended up eating their lunches with us in the school cafeteria.

JMB 1911

Geez! 1944, 1947, 1955, 1961. Talk about being stuck in the past. You guys need to read and watch something current and get up to date.

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