My views on race come only from my experience

To the editor:

I would like to respond to Jene Mertz’s comments about my letter of June 9.

To begin with, Ms. Mertz implies that I say I don’t have to worry about racism. That’s not true. My letter was simply an opinion about how serious race is as a national issue. Some people feel this issue is tearing the country apart. I am not convinced of that. In all my experience based upon personal interactions, I have no basis for a racist attitude, and as far as what goes on elsewhere, I have to base my opinion on evidence.

And, with all respect, I don’t find any new evidence in Ms. Mertz’s letter. Her discussions of the value of being right-handed and of being white in a “video game” simply confirm that it’s to be in the majority. This fact of life was not invented to supress black people; it’s something that every person in a minority position has had to deal with. And black and white hats in western movies are not latent symbols of racism. White has been a symbol of good and black of evil at least since Biblical times.

I cannot conclude that, as Ms. Mertz does because of these arguments, “the legacy of racism lives on.” The legacy of racism is helped to live on because Ms. Mertz and others urge us to “confront and talk about the past.” The past has been confronted and talked about for over 150 years. My intention is to say how things are today, based on what I see and feel in the people I deal with.

No black people that I know need my help or sympathy any more than the white people I know. What goes on between black and white individuals elsewhere is difficult for me to know the truth about.

In any event, it’s something I can have little influence on and for which I feel no guilt.

John Brittain