Letter to the Editor: Higher Callings Continue

Although I’m normally a comfortable observer of cultural and political world events, the current media narrative on race and law-enforcement relations has driven my entry to the Pulse’s opinion page. The stern privilege of being older and experienced allows me a contrary perspective on this already crowded stage. I trust I am not alone.

That lifetime of experience includes legislative, community, academic and church endeavors for racial advancement. Affirmative action, med-prep programs, war on poverty, school desegregation and busing, voting-rights acts and economic-development zones have all been implemented during the last 50 years. And these efforts culminated with the first black elected and reelected president of the United States.

Then there are bad police officers, and calls for their accountability can only make law enforcement better. But our “peace officers” have never been better. From the civil-rights protests and the first chants of “police brutality” more than 50 years ago, their professional standard continues to be elevated. This elevation continues even in light of mental-health care being discharged to the streets and substance abuse being pervasive.

Pointing fingers at other groups different from ourselves is a simplistic way to solve problems. Holding up the mirror to one’s own group is a heavy hand to hold for effecting change. Keeping that in mind, let me say: Racism exists. America is not racist. I am not a racist. Black lives matter. All lives matter. All life matters.

That realization of inclusivity is the eventual basis for true equality. 

Fred Perryman

Fish Creek, Wisconsin