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Our society has far to go to end racism

DEAR EDITOR:

In the Jan. 2 sound-off section, an anonymous writer from Columbiana pondered why “more errors” occur during police encounters with African Americans. The writer references the Dec. 31 editorial that discussed the killing of Andre Hill at the hands of Columbus police. The sound-off writer offers his / her uneventful encounter with the police that resulted in a speeding ticket as proof that as long as you are civil, you will have a benign outcome.

It is commendable that the writer displayed civility when getting pulled over for breaking traffic laws by speeding. Mr. Hill didn’t really have much time to display his “civility, whether possessed or not,” when he was shot four times without warning after leaving a friend’s garage with only a cellphone in his hand. I question how much civility was shown by the officers when they chose to handcuff the victim while he lay dying, instead of administering first aid.

At best, the sound-off writer’s statements in which he / she compare his / her single idyllic interaction with the police to the innumerable interactions that end in tragedy for African Americans is flippant, dismissive and of no comparative value. More likely, through their smug comments, the writer exposes to the reader the writer’s thinly veiled racist beliefs. Among those beliefs: that African Americans must be “trained” in order to exist in our society. The fact that the writer felt comfortable sharing (even anonymously) these beliefs shows just how far we have to go as a society.

MELISSA BIRMINGHAM

Youngstown

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