Columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. has a habit of selecting isolated encounters with people he disagrees with who either lack foundation facts for their arguments or their premises are plainly flawed and then he extrapolates the encounter as a refutation of an entire group of people [“Before ‘conversation on race’ we need education on race,” Opinion, March 30]. Can you say “straw man argument?”
His example was the Jewish reader who had no factual data to back her opinions and experience in a community with almost no black citizens. He rightly refutes her opinion based on such a flimsy foundation and then states that this, “illustrated for me … when people think they’re talking about race, they really aren’t.” You see, anybody who does not hold his “enlightened” opinions are, as he plainly says, “ talking instead about the myths, resentments, projections and suppositions by which they justify half-baked notions about who those ‘other’ people are” — because this one person apparently was.
For me, a child of the post-Civil War segregated South, I am fully aware of why the issue of race in our society is not simple. There are many sociological reasons why individuals in various groups of people behave and react to behavior today as they do.
John E. Woodbery, Monroe
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