2016-09-23 / Letters

Letter was offensive and indicative of social climate

To the editor:

To equate Black Lives Matter with the KKK, as Joe Trevino does in his Sept. 16 Sentry letter, is such an offense against history, reason and sensibility that it invites ridicule, but sadly represents an attitude which has revealed itself during Trump’s presidential campaign to be shockingly widespread among white Americans.

I suspect that “liberal” is a pejorative term for Mr. Trevino. I prefer (and identify with) “progressive” to describe a panoply of ideas and attitudes that include (bear with me, please): recognition of and opposition to the racism and xenophobia that continue to corrupt our society; acknowledgment of human-caused climate change and resistance to actions that befoul our air, water, and soil; support of LGBTQ rights and of a woman’s right to control her own body; and opposition to income inequality, which condemns more than 45 million Americans and billions of people throughout the world to poverty.

This is a short and incomplete inventory, but the core ideas are universal to a progressive perspective – welcoming (not grudgingly tolerating) diversity, sharing ideas and resources, and advancing humane social and economic change. Unfortunately, progressives don’t always work together. We tend to dwell on single-issue causes, smug in the conviction that our green habits and occasional attendance at demonstrations will save the world. If we want our species and all life on our planet to survive and thrive, we need to continually educate ourselves, commit our time and resources, and build coalitions. Frederick Douglass understood: “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”

Will Fritzmeier South Portland

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