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How to talk to white people about racism | READER COMMENTARY

A man addresses gathering demonstrators ahead of a raly in Parliament Square in London, Tuesday, June 9, 2020. The rally is to commemorate George Floyd whose private funeral took place Tuesday. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
A man addresses gathering demonstrators ahead of a raly in Parliament Square in London, Tuesday, June 9, 2020. The rally is to commemorate George Floyd whose private funeral took place Tuesday. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)

I want to thank Gina Pierleoni of Bel Air from the bottom of my heart for her letter, “The many privileges white people take for granted include taking a break from thinking about race relations whenever they like” (June 3). I am African-American, and I have several white friends. Sometimes, it’s hard to discuss race relations with them because, while they claim to understand, they really don’t have a clue.

For example, one white friend was at a cookout and she sent me a picture that showed two Confederate flags — perfect examples of the “constant contemporary reminders (of) tendrils of subjugation and extreme inequities (that) continue to exist and operate in plain sight” that Ms. Pierleoni mentioned in her letter. At first, I decided not to say anything to my friend, but there was no way I could let that pass. After I explained to her what the Confederate flag means to African-Americans, she apologized. Perfect example of some “white folks not having a clue”!

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In the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, I was wondering if there was any way to explain to my white friends (if they asked and without losing my temper) just what African-Americans deal with every day in their lives, be they rich or poor, never finished high school or Ivy-League educated. After reading Ms. Pierleoni’s letter, I plan on printing out several copies to use as handouts when my white friends ask, “Why?” Again, thank you, Gina Pierleoni!

Delane Morris, Edgewood

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