To the editor:

Growing up in a small town in the 1960s was like being in a white cocoon. The only Black people I ever saw were on trips to the Cities and a foreign exchange student in our high school. The first time I saw overt racism was when that foreign exchange student had eggs thrown at him as he sat on a homecoming float. Over 50 years later, there is still underlying racism in my community against those who are not white.

I believe racism stems from fear and ignorance of what you do not know. Children in America are being educated in a white-washed world. They are not taught the beauty of other cultures from a young age. They are not taught about the ugly struggles and great accomplishments of people of all races. They are not taught that we are one human race. That the makeup of our intricate and perfectly designed bodies is 99.9% the same. If we never expand our worldview through education, travel and living with other cultures, we become afraid of people who don’t look like us. We have irrational fears they are taking something from us.

At this time in history we are experiencing the clear delineation of good and evil. The evil is systemic racism. The good is what is happening to overcome it. The racist symbols, thoughts and behaviors ingrained in our society are painfully and necessarily being challenged and the monuments glorifying racism are being torn down. Racism and the hatred fomented by it causes misunderstandings, anger, war, hunger, crime, cruelty, strife and division. There will never be peace in the world or peace in our hearts while racism dominates our world.

Jan Duhnke

Alexandria, MN