I appreciated Allen Johnson’s acknowledgment of the role racism plays in African Americans’ ability to achieve the American Dream (“Race determines the pitch of the climb,” TCH, April 2). However, his conclusion confounded me, undermining many of the points he made earlier in the piece.
Rather than implore all of us to fight against injustice and inequity, he encourages the subjects of discrimination to continue to work harder than those whose backgrounds the system privileges. This logic perpetuates myths of individual achievement and a level playing field. In creating a mantra for the “black boy or girl from the slums” rife with stereotypes, he contradicts his purported belief in their self-determination.
Calling for the dismantling of biased attitudes, policies, practices, and institutions would have strengthened his case against the prejudice blacks undergo in this country as a result of their race.
Tanya Bowers, M.A., Pasco