If only outrage against racial comments extended to outrage over inequities

The racist rants of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and LA Clipper’s owner Donald Sterling are easy to spot and condemn. Mitch Pearlstein takes pride in the country’s condemnation of outrageous racist comments and behavior of individuals as a clear sign we are a decent country after all. 

I would be more impressed if the country would be equally outraged by the racial inequities that plague our nation and state.

People of color, who make up the fastest growing segment of the population in Minnesota, compared with the white population, are more likely to live in poverty, less likely to graduate from high school, more likely to be unemployed, less likely to own their own home, more likely to suffer from chronic illness, and more likely to end up incarcerated. These negative outcomes are features of unjust systems and structures that produce disparities in income, healthy environments, and access to educational and employment opportunities based on race.

Maybe if we truly understood that the whole nation’s future prosperity depends on eliminating these inequities, our condemnation would go beyond the racist individuals to the racist institutions and systems that privilege white people and disadvantage people of color.

MinnPost welcomes original letters from readers on current topics of general interest. Interested in joining the conversation? Submit your letter to the editor. The choice of letters for publication is at the discretion of MinnPost editors; they will not be able to respond to individual inquiries about letters.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 06/02/2014 - 11:45 am.

    I totally agree

    and the first step towards that day when each man is free to choose his own destiny with equal access to educational opportunities to achieve that end is to change the governing leadership in this country from city councils to the White House.

    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 06/02/2014 - 01:42 pm.

      But not women?

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/02/2014 - 04:30 pm.

        Probably not

        Mr. Tester is on record as being of the opinion that extending the suffrage to women was a bad idea.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 06/02/2014 - 02:21 pm.

      …each man is free to choose his own destiny with equal access to educational opportunities…

      From free access to any pre-K to free access to any college?

      Gosh, you certainly have changed, Mr. Tester.

      Can you point to the politician of your choice that is advocating that policy?

      • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 06/02/2014 - 04:33 pm.

        Who said anything about free?

        I said equal access. Whatever a white student has to pay for college should be the price for non-white students as well. That’s equal access.

        • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 06/03/2014 - 08:09 am.

          Aha!”Equal access” is


          “Equal access” is determined by equal ability to pay.

          Now it gets sticky.

          Because income is correlated with race.

          And that is exactly how inequity is perpetuated and class mobility is slowed.

Leave a Reply