Letters to the Editor

US racial dialogue missing big picture

Two columnists reminded us of the wounds that occur in the use of the n-word, citing actor Michael Richards' racial tirade in 2006 and celebrity chef Paula Deen's statements in a deposition.

No one should utter the n-word in public or private. It is a cruel reminder of the hundreds of years of slave-master rhetoric and the "chains" of degradation during the Jim Crow era.

We should emphasize that too many Americans need jobs, a better education, live in poverty, etc.

We should emphasize the positive contributions of African-Americans: D.H. Williams, 1883, the first successful open heart surgeon; P.L. Julian, who synthesized cortisone to treat arthritis; Emmett Chappelle, whose discoveries helped diagnose urinary tract infections; C.R. Drew, who opened our first blood bank; G.A. Morgan, who invented the gas mask; Patricia Bath, who invented the Laserphaco Probe for cataract treatment; Lewis Latimer, whose most important invention made the electric light bulb practical; and James West, whose invention of microphonics led to today's use of telephones, baby monitors, etc.

So many more black American pathfinders have contributed positively to all our lives.

Charles L. Richman

Fripp Island

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