On Jews and White Privilege
Liz Spikol’s Opinion piece (“Who We Were, Who We Are Now,” June 4) illustrates the dilemma police face every day when they go out to do their job; who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? The riots in Philadelphia and elsewhere have nothing to do with George Floyd and everything to do with anarchy. Calls to defund the police, as we are hearing across the country are demoralizing and will only encourage more violence. It is discouraging that Spikol’s piece did not utter a word of support for the police who put their lives on the line for us every day.
Len Getz | Merion
I would like to thank Liz Spikol for her op-ed. She articulated very clearly that we, as Jews, need to remember and what we need to be aware of on race issues in this country. Too many of us have forgotten this history and also remain unaware of racial bias that is so prevalent.
I was deeply touched and inspired by Spikol’s writing and just wanted to let her know that there is at least one person she reached deeply. Keep up the wonderful work.
Florence Hannah | Elkins Park
Liz Spikol’s heartfelt editorial offering perspective on the erupting racial divide our country is experiencing is direct, decent and sound.
What still distresses me is knowing that an all-too-large number of Jews do not feel the same way. They may not admit it but their position is clearly expressed by their figuratively and defensively waving the American flag, ostensibly using reverence toward war veterans to bolster their own need for staunch loyalty to America no matter what, but all the while forgetting that, while Jews have suffered for thousands of years, we can disguise who we are. My parents, Holocaust survivors, did it; I did it. People of color cannot.
The rough road we are on seems endless and double backs on itself but we must remain dedicated to bettering the world. That is the way of Jews.
Ruth Laks | Yardley
The recent demonstrations and discussions of racism reminded me of an incident in 1952 when I was 9 (“Leaders, Business Owners Look Forward After Protests,” June 11). My mother and I went down to Miami Beach from Brooklyn.
One day, we had gone to the Miami Seaquarium, and it was very hot. I told my mother I was going to the water fountain for a drink. As I approached it, I saw there were two, each with a sign: White and Colored. I went to the Colored for a drink.
A policeman came over and, said, “Hey boy, whatcha doin’?”
“I’m getting a drink of water, sir.”
“Can’t you read boy?”
“Yes, but the water isn’t colored!”
He responded with something like, “Oh, a wise-a–.”
About then, my mother explained that we were from New York, and I hadn’t seen that before. He grumbled and walked away.
I asked my mother what did all that mean. She explained, “In Florida and other Southern states colored and white people had to drink from separate water fountains and also use separate toilets.” I asked why and she said she didn’t really know.
Peter J. Whitman | Glen Mills