Letter to the Editor: Give it up!
In the early ‘60s, we played “pick up” basketball Saturday mornings at Si Melby Hall on the campus of Augsburg University, Minneapolis. Most of the guys were Black.
Often, I was the only white guy on our team playing against our opponents who were usually all Black. Indeed, “birds of a feather flock together." The chance of me getting the ball (unless I grabbed a rebound) was zero to none!
The Civil Rights Movement was gathering momentum. Saturday mornings, I experienced what it was like to be a minority. Only, I was playing a game. After my shower, I walked out into my white majority culture.
Now it’s 2020. My white majority culture is still playing a game called systemic racism. The Civil Rights Movement of the ‘60s, slowly and systematically, was benched by our dominant white culture. Consider these statistics from 2016-17 showing the racial breakdown of the people who control our institutions (abbreviated list):
- U.S. Congress: 90% white.
- U.S. governors: 96% white.
- Current U.S. presidential cabinet: 91% white.
- Teachers: 82% white.
- Owners of men’s professional football teams: 97% white*.
The game of life in America is stacked in our favor. We falsely say, “Hey, I worked hard to play on this team! Those ‘other birds’ can do the same thing if they want it bad enough."
Those “other birds” have been ready to go for way too long! This is possibly the most poignant moment in our history since emancipation. When you vote on Nov. 3, 2020, give it up to those candidates who know the game. Amazing things happen when a group becomes a team!
*"White Fragility," Robin Diangelo, Beacon Press, p. 31.
Terry J. Frovik,