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For many, America hasn’t lived up to its lofty ideals

In response to your Tuesday editorial, “The politics of resentment”:

The Review-Journal had ample opportunity to write about the perils of “identity politics” long before three people lost their lives in Charlottesville, Va. Your editorial is misleading, to say the least.

Identity politics has some genuine merit when it is grounded in the fundamental beliefs of a religious culture in the United States that premises respect for others, justice and the notion of equality with constitutional guarantees. Unfortunately, for more than 300 years — from the colonial period in American history to the 1960s — our country witnessed an identity politics grounded in race that was hypocritical toward those ideals. That hypocrisy not only damaged the notion of fair play and individualism, but it also shattered the notion of a truly “good” society — and it helped take literally thousands of lives.

Your newspaper gave its strong endorsement to a man, Donald Trump, who serves as an icon for a kind of ugly identity politics many Americans desperately struggle to forget. David Duke, his KKK comrades and Nazi friends comprehend the often-coded signals of a President Trump and his White House. And I believe that you do, as well. Indeed, Mr. Trump’s incendiary language during the 2016 presidential campaign helped give rise to the tragic ugliness at Charlottesville.

The editorial struggles to give an appearance of “balance.” Regrettably, it ignores the long, tortured, history of race and culture in our land. Some of us know that story quite well — as least as well as the editors at the Review-Journal.

And that is especially true for those of us who have seen brutality close up, death within our communities and the worried face of grieving mothers who understood the nature of hatred and killing.

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