To the Editor:
In answer to Cathy Reiss’s letter to the editor in the July 17th Bee:
Cathy Reiss says (if I read her letter correctly) that the Black Lives Matter movement is Marxist and because Marxism is responsible for millions of deaths and misery, the BLM movement is “not the answer.”
In fact, she seems to suggest that because “we’ve come a long way, and the Black community has made tremendous progress,” that there’s no need for BLM or Marxism or any other fix for that matter, but, (she goes on to say) if we treat our fellow African Americans with “dignity and respect” then progress will continue.
However, despite the achievements of Obama and Oprah, there is, indeed, evidence that Blacks are systemically oppressed. Honestly, look at the statistics on job opportunities, health care, housing, and education for our Black brothers and sisters.
Did you know that Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women? (Primarily because of less access to health care.)
...That, even though school segregation was outlawed over 65 years ago, over 50 percent of Black children still go to underfunded and segregated schools because of housing discrimination and school district gerrymandering?
…That Black adults are more than 1.5 times less likely to have health insurance than white adults?
…That, on average, Black male offenders received federal sentences almost 20% longer than white male offenders for the same crime?
How can we pretend that everyone has equitable opportunities in the face of this information?
Simply treating people with dignity and respect is not enough (as past years have shown.) We, as a country, have continued our subtle gerrymandering practices that disadvantage our Black brothers and sisters.
You advocate that we “speak up when someone is treated unjustly.” Yes! We must! Then, whether it’s through BLM, another organization, or individually in our own community, that is what matters — not Marxism.
25 Old Green Road, Sandy Hook July 22, 2020