Letter to the Editor

Racism is still a deadly contagion

To the Editor:

I am not sure white supremacy is all that it is made up to be but I do believe that there is such a thing as systemic racism. I saw it growing up in Lower Roxbury. I saw it in the folks who ran B.H.A. I lived in Orchard Park as a kid when administrators created two separate “projects.” One “project’ for white residents and another project in the rear for black residents. This B.H.A. policy ended ion 1958 when I was 10 years old. If that is not systemic racism, I don’t know what is.

Seven  years later, 1965 I saw it again. This time in the town of Natick. My brother, myself and two black friends took a ride to Natick to see friends who lived there. We weren’t off the bus 15 minutes before a cruiser stopped us and asked us why we were there. We started to say something but he wasn’t listening. He told us to leave town, waited at the bus stop to make sure we got on the bus. I was so angered by what happened and why it happened. He was surely less concerned about my brother and me and more concern about our friends with us. All four of us laughed at what had happened but it really was far from funny. It took me 25 years to return to that town. I  have always resented what happened to us that long-ago day.

I believe we are a much better country today then back in 1965. Are we perfect yet? Hardly. Racism is still with us and today it is much more invisible. However, watching the video of that police officer seemingly oblivious to what he was doing you know racism is still a deadly contagion.

I understand why folks were angry and wanted to peacefully protest the ugliest of that unarmed guy on the ground who had less than nine minutes to live because of actual evil person standing over him.

We need to work together all of us regardless of race, color, ethnicity, gender, gay or straight to do what Dr. King sought over 50 years ago that all of us should be judged not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character.

If we can reach this plateau, we can be one people indivisible with justice for all.Sal Giarratani

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