Letter: History teaches us racial injustice is wrong

While I appreciate Mr. Mishkin’s brief review of racial injustice condoned by the Bible as well as various U.S. presidents, I fear he does not go far enough by saying we need to “learn from our history, not attempt to erase it” [Viewpoint: “Living with history is instructive, even when it’s flawed,” June 18]. When I see the Confederate flag hanging on porches in Indianapolis and when so many state legislatures are attempting to suppress the vote of people of color, I believe we must also make clear moral judgments on our history.

So, let us be bold in saying Washington, Jefferson and Woodrow Wilson were wrong in condoning racial bigotry. Let us say “Gone with the Wind” was wrong in its belittling of Black people. Let us say honoring Confederate soldiers with statues is wrong and naming a military base after them is despicable. In fact, dare we even say the U.S. Constitution was wrong in saying a Black person was only three fifths of a human? And let us even go to the Bible and say the Biblical writers were dead wrong in not saying that slavery is blaspheme against God.

We learn from our history only when we can state clearly what was right and what was wrong in our past. Let us say it out loud then: “Racial injustice is wrong, and it has always been wrong.”

That is what our history teaches us.•


Rev. Robert Heimach

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