Subtle racism

When we see blatant racism in our country and our community, lots of us speak out.

But we don’t often speak out about the subtle racism that underpins more visible racism.

Like the white woman who holds her purse a little tighter if she sees a black man walking on the same sidewalk.

Or the mom who doesn’t want her white daughter to date a black classmate, or the dad who doesn’t want his black son to date a white classmate.

Or the policeman who’s sure to tell a black kid’s mom that he was “surprisingly polite” when a loud party got broken up.

Or the white parishioner who’s morally smug because she passed the peace to a black congregant.

Or the dad who expects the black kid to be the star athlete but is surprised to learn he’s in the National Honor Society.

Or the woman reading a news story about a drug bust who automatically assumes the perpetrators are black.

Or the job applicant who thought the black guy got the job because of his race and not because of his qualifications.

Or the driver whose car needs gas, but doesn’t stop at a service station until she is in the “right” part of town.

Subtle racism is insidious. It isn’t violent, it isn’t filled with hate, it isn’t going to start a protest. But it also isn’t going to mend race relations or further the cause of equality and justice.

We need to be better than this.

Kathy Kennedy

Winston-Salem

Our chain-free friends

Local animal advocates are celebrating almost three years since Forsyth County’s comprehensive dog tethering ordinance took effect. Like most animal welfare legislation, the tethering law was controversial and not universally supported. Oft-repeated concerns were that there would be an “explosion” of complaints to Animal Services and unmanageable increases in the number of dogs surrendered or simply abandoned. Some doubted the commitment or ability of local advocates to provide assistance to county residents. Fortunately, none of the feared outcomes were realized.

Proponents of the ordinance didn’t expect to achieve a “chain-free” community overnight, but we also rejected the doomsday predictions. We worked hard to help lower-income dog-owners comply with the new law. In particular, UNchain Winston and Furever Friends volunteers worked tirelessly to satisfy requests for free fencing to provide for a dog’s chain-free life. In fact, UNchain Winston has never turned away a qualified applicant, keeping up with requests for new fencing in addition to repairing many existing fences. Hundreds of dogs and their human families have benefited from our efforts.

Perhaps most importantly, many dog owners seem to have gotten the message and are voluntarily complying with the law, without assistance. Although chained dogs still exist, there are far fewer, an observation shared by Forsyth County Animal Services. We celebrate the clear increase in dog fences and kennels in Forsyth County, and a decrease in chained dogs. More needs to be done, but we can be proud of how quickly we have come so far.

Keith John Murphy

Winston-Salem

Murphy is a co-founder of UNchain Winston. — the editor

Political and ridiculous

Your cartoons never cease to amaze, frustrate and anger me.

Showing the president with a can of gasoline and implying that he is going to further inflame the rioting, looting and killing (June 3) is so political and ridiculous. As mentioned before, your newspaper keeps getting lighter and lighter. Cartoons like this one and columns like the one by the erudite George Will (“No one should want four more years of this,” June 3) certainly don’t encourage the other side of the political coin that you so obviously dislike to subscribe or continue to subscribe.

Clarence Peoples

Clemmons

Change our hearts

I see these protesters across our nation wanting justice with no mercy. Thank God we have a God of mercy. Maybe we need more Judgments from God to change our hearts.

Lawrence Overton

Clemmons

Going up

What does it mean that the stock market is going up even as millions of Americans are losing their jobs? Does it mean that the market is not really related to the economy or that that millionaires are profiting on coronavirus?

Erik Deaver

Winston-Salem

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