This is in regards to Pete McCommons' article “Picking at the Scab” (Pub Notes, July 24). I disagree with the subtitle, “The Infection of Racism Is Always in Our Bloodstream,” because racism is a social construct, not part of our human nature. Racism was created by the powerful to justify and continue their exploitation of all of us.
Saying that racism is in our bloodstream might make you and many others feel better: All are exonerated, because if it’s in one’s blood, what can you do? So, your article actually served the final purpose of the likes of Talmadge and the Chanter-in-Chief, because you justified their perpetuating an instrument of oppression, as they did nothing wrong but followed their natural tendencies. Nothing of that sort, of course: They have embraced racism as a way to increase their profits and secure more power.
I think you are confusing racism with prejudice. We all have prejudices, and when we follow them in our interactions with others, we are discriminating. But racism is much more than that, because it involves a systematic discrimination implemented at every socio-economic level. We have been culturally permeated with racism, and so we tend to see it as something natural, as you did, but it isn’t. We can find our way out of those social mores if we make a serious effort.