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Letter to the Editor: Government is not a friend to Americans on welfare

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Dr. Kim E. Koo’s Letter to the Editor (”Racism, oppression are still very much with us today,” Aug. 20) regaled those of us who bothered to read it with nine paragraphs of rambling thoughts, backed up with zero facts. I will only focus on three items from the letter, though; two words in the title (racism and oppression) and the first sentence of the seventh paragraph, “It also is no coincidence that racism was invented at the time of capitalism’s expansion into the colonies.” Say what?

First, let’s deal with the word “racism.” Dr. Koo states that “many honest people....have not fully grasped the entrenched aspect of institutionalized racism.” She also mentioned “Southern heritage” and “preserving our history’” as rallying cries that “seemed almost reasonable.” Now, I am no neurosurgeon, as the good doctor is, but I do know that racism is not based in scientific reality.

The symbols Dr. Koo mentions in order to solidify her point about racism – statues and the Confederate flag – have only served to show that there are “many honest people who have not fully grasped the entrenched aspect of” our Constitution and the freedoms it provides to every citizen. The Constitution even grants rights to those who are not citizens. I use the doctor’s words here because if one chooses to call out one segment of society and not another, you have logically chosen to discriminate against the segment of society you have called out. Based on Dr. Koo’s comments in her most recent letter, I assume that discrimination is actually her intent. Maybe it isn’t, but I only have her words on which to base my observation, The only other option is hypocrisy. Both are not firm foundations on which to build a case against racism or oppression.

Second, Dr, Koo chose to put the word “oppression” in the title of her letter. If she did not and the Editorial Page editor did that, then I apologize. My guess is that Dr. Koo penned the title and the letter, though. Anyway, I will agree that oppression certainly exists in our world. But it is certainly not limited to the color of a person’s skin. There are numerous catch phrases thrown around these days by groups affected by oppression - gender-neutral, anti-fascist, trans-gender, and pro-abortion, to name just four. Dr. Koo’s attempt to limit her definition of the word to racial dogma is laughable. But I’m just a retired Air Force guy, What do I know? I rather like the term equality. It better defines who we are as a nation. Regarding equality, Abraham Lincoln once said, “”I protest against that counterfeit logic which concludes that because I do not want a black woman for a slave, I must necessarily want her for a wife, I need not have her for either; I can just leave her alone. In some respects she certainly is not my equal; but in her natural right to eat the bread she earns with her own hands without asking leave of anyone else, she is my equal, and equal to all others.” Simple and much more welcoming than what Dr. Koo has written.

Lastly, let’s chat about that quote from the seventh paragraph of Dr. Koo’s letter – “racism was invented at the time of capitalism’s expansion into the colonies,” Capitalism has nothing to do with racism or oppression or hate or anti-fascism or whatever other term you choose to use. Capitalism is simply the willingness of two parties – a buyer and a seller – to come together in a mutually beneficial business transaction. And the colonies did not invent slavery. Slavery has been around since antiquity. It is not an American institution, as so many people attempt to prove. It is also not currently an issue in the United States, nor is oppression a current issue in our country. Proclaiming oneself a victim is definitely a problem, though.

If you want to yell from the rooftop about an actual problem in our country, perhaps you could research the plight of black Americans on welfare. The government is not their friend. The government is only seeking to keep people dependent on handouts for survival. That will ensure that the government does not lose power to people who think for themselves and remove the shackles of government from their lives, Making the choice to do such a thing is not even on the radar for many people. Sitting at your computer telling the rest of us that it is our fault that people fail to make the choice to better their own lives is an extremely myopic viewpoint, If you believe that people cannot improve their fives without the government’s help, then you are part of the problem, not the solution.

I think Dr. Koo is pleasantly engrossed in her world view that racism actually exists. I would submit that oppression is a given, but racism is not a thing. Scientific fact actually exists that limits us to one race – human. Any attempt to say otherwise is an attempt to paint oneself (or a group) as victims. There most definitely have been oppressed groups of people in our country (and world) in the past. There still are oppressed groups in our country and world even today, I’d like to read the doctor’s thoughts on Christians being slaughtered by the thousands in the Middle East. That is an actual fact.

WAYLAND G. ABERNATHY

Nashville 

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