The Norman Transcript

Opinion

April 28, 2013

Racism still prevalent in America

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

In my letter published recently in the Norman Transcript, titled “Opposition to health care reform not touting rational reason,” one person commented that people oppose Obamacare for reasons other than race.

A counterpoint letter, titled “Racism claims are ‘total malarkey,’ to a letter wrote December 2012 was published in the Oklahoman. Dr. Lance Allred (UCLA) discussed these letters and, advisor to President Reagan, Lee Atwater’s infamous 1981 interview in his “Letters from Oklahoma.” Mr. Atwater claims they got southern votes not by sounding racist but by cutting government handouts directly, thus affecting black people more than white people.

Present observations and a long lifetime of seeing open discrimination in the deep south convince me race discrimination is more of the opposition to health care reform.

In my town during the depression, African Americans and other minorities shopped but were not allowed to live there, eat, or use white people’s facilities.

I was in school at the University of Oklahoma, shortly after World War II, when they were forced to let a black graduate student in school but used ropes to separate him from white students until the courts stopped them. Students invited him to their large church in Norman, but some deacons and members opposed this. While in graduate school in Florida State University in 1982, my fellow students were appalled when they and a black student went out to eat but he wasn’t allowed in the restaurant.

Racism may not now be as open, but it is still prevalent in our country and does impact the health care of the poor and old.

Edward V. Harris

Hugo

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