In recent weeks, I have noticed possible racism in articles by the Bristol Herald Courier, the Herald Courier writers and the Associated Press.
This happens when the article cites the race of a person or group. When the person is black, black is capitalized. When the person is white, white is small letters. This gives the appearance of racial superiority, a dictionary definition of racism. This is treating different people differently.
There is a simple solution: Either capitalize both, or capitalize neither. But to suggest one race is superior to another, or one race is more important than another or one race is favored over another is not equal treatment.
Treating people equally does not diminish anyone importance as a person.
Every obituary of former U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who passed away July 24 at the age of 80, talked about how as a young man he led the Civil Rights marchers across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, at the other end of which he was beaten by state troopers so hard that they fractured his skull. Lewis gave his life that they. Five months later and 34 miles away in Haynesville, Alabama, Jonathan Daniels really gave his life. Daniels was a white seminary student from New Hampshire who had joined the Civil Rights Movement in the Deep South. One day Daniels and three other Civil Rights activists — one white and two black — went to get a cold drink at a convenience store. An armed man blocked the door. When the man aimed the gun at one of the black teenagers, Daniels pushed her out of the way — and took the blast intended for her. He died on the spot.
These two examples were in the paper July 21, 2020, but it occurs pretty much on a daily basis; are whites second-class?
Editor’s Note: The Associated Press continues to lowercase the term white in racial, ethnic and cultural senses. This decision follows AP’s move in June to capitalize Black and Indigenous. The AP consulted with a wide group of people internally and externally around the globe and considered a variety of commentary in making these decisions.
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