Letters to the editor

All letters to the editor in today’s issue are in response to Joshua Britt’s

Sept. 17 letter “African-American activists have gone too far.”

Shepard’s response

“A real hero doesn’t do things for attention; they do something because it is right.”

First of all, heroes do not call themselves heroes, others do and I never intended to be one, but it sure feels good to be called a hero. You may say I want attention, but it was not I that wanted the attention, it was God. I had been studying Romans, Chapter 8 in the King James Bible.

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you…” Romans 8:9

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15

Basically those passages mean do not let the laws of man control you, let the law of God be your ruler. God does not give me spirit that makes me a slave to fear, but the spirit of his child. We are all God’s children and no matter how you feel about Aug. 31, when God used me to put a stop to a rally of hatred, people still think I am a hero! I give all the glory to God. A pastor even used me as an example for Romans 12. Read it and remember God loves you and so do I.

Oh, and by the way, I was not protesting the n-word, I was protesting hatred. The n-word is not in my speaking vocabulary.

Laquetta Shepard

Louisville senior

Britt needs enlightenment

I would like to take a minute to enlighten the author of “African-American activists have gone too far.” It’s apparent he doesn’t know about the African-American’s plight in the 21st century.

While we have come along leaps and bounds during the past 400 years, the ignorance you displayed recently shows the slow pace at which a few other people in the world have ambled about.

We know groups such as the KKK and other white supremacists organizations (if you want to call them organized) are racist. So it was no big shock to see them out last weekend. But what is disheartening is to read the words of people who apparently don’t know the racist attitudes they hold. How can you possibly say that discrimination and racism against blacks is overblown when the Klan is holding a rally in the 21st century?

While you are correct that termination of the use of the n-word must also be confronted by African-Americans, you are at the same time stereotyping Ms. Shepard by saying that her “favorite vulgar, useless rappers” use the same word.

Do you even know Ms. Shepard? Do you even know if she likes rap music or if she cries every time she hears the n-word in rap music too? Not all African-Americans listen to rap music or agree with its context, a stereotype that I see still strives in your young mind.

As for the issue of slavery, it was indeed practiced worldwide, but not for economic issues. If that was the case then why not send lower class white Europeans who were more accessible to transporting to satisfy the need for workers? Blacks were chosen because they were viewed as an inferior race and because they were so “savage” they could adapt to the arduous conditions associated with slavery. As you see, time has shown African-Americans are not inferior, but equal the intelligence of any race on Earth.

As for white American studies classes let me inform you on their location – it’s called Western civilization and guess what? It’s required by the university.

I would like to further enlighten you at a public debate if you can “muster” up enough courage outside of empty statements. You can bring your friends who feel the same way so that we can present our case formally and intellectually. But, try to leave the white sheets at home.

Jeff Stone

Bardstown senior

Forgive but don’t forget

After reading this young man’s letter to the editor, I sat down my paper and laughed. Mr. Britt claims that African-American activists are nothing more than crybabies. Mr. Britt claims that when Ms. Laquetta Shepard bravely stepped into a crowd of KKK members, she was only doing it for attention. He claims African-Americans should forget about slavery because African traders sold others into slavery, and also owned slaves.

He cannot understand why there are minority scholarships, why schools don’t teach “White American” classes. Since Mr. Britt doesn’t know the answers to these questions, I would like to address each of these issues briefly.

First, let us begin with this young man’s assumption about Ms. Shepard. Do you even know this woman? How can you say what her intentions were? All of us have different ways of voicing our opinions. I would not have been able to go into a circle of hate without saying anything.

Ms. Shepard was able to be heard without saying a single word. She used no profanity or violence. This type of courage and positive behavior should be celebrated, and should be an example to others .

Mr. Britt seems to think African-Americans should just forget about slavery. Why should I forget about slavery? Why should I forget the strength and courage of my ancestors? Why should I forget those who died so that I might have opportunities they did not have? Why should I forget the raping, beating, torturing and murdering of my ancestors? Mr. Britt, it should never be forgotten. It is a part of my history, and I never want to forget how strong my ancestors were. I can definitely forgive, but I will never forget.

Also, you mentioned that Africans also owned and traded other Africans. Well, Mr. Britt, if you are going to tell the story, don’t just tell half of it. Yes, it is true that Africans from stronger tribes enslaved those from weaker tribes. I cannot justify this. However, the extent of their brutality was nothing like what the slaves were subjected to in the U.S. Slaves from the weaker tribes had a chance to work their way up. Also, slaves from the weaker tribes did not have to endure the terrible voyage from Africa to this country chained to one another, starved, and made to use the “restroom” where they laid. Do you know how many lives were lost on these journeys? Of course you don’t, because schools usually don’t teach it.

I think this also answers your question about having African-American studies courses and not “White American” studies as you called it. I’m willing to bet if you sat down right now and wrote out all the names of people you learned about in your basic history class, a disproportionate amount of the names would be white, and only a few would be minorities.

Also, if you attended the scholarship banquet Sept. 17, you would have seen that out of the large group of students to receive scholarships, only three of us were African-American (and two of us received scholarships set up especially for minorities).

I don’t know if it is hate or confusion that has consumed your heart, but I pray it isn’t hate. Obviously you think you are getting cheated out of something just because of the special programs set up for minorities.

I would suggest you take an African-American studies course, since you could obviously use some brushing up on the subject.

Knowledge is power, and if you obtain this knowledge, it may change the way you perceive things. You have to realize that you have the power to change our country, and it is not by complaining and asking for your own affirmative action. It’s through equality.

If everyone would stop the hate and discrimination, there would be no need for affirmative action. Unfortunately, things aren’t that simple. We should remember that we are the future, and we have the power to change things. Will you?

Heather Howard

Frankfort junior

N-word still offensive

Not all black people bask in the use of the n-word. Some even find it offensive in its usage by other blacks. You’ll find that across class lines of Black America, there are varying opinions on the n-word.

Last semester the Herald collaborated with the Office of Minority Student Services and presented a forum on the controversial n-word. All students were welcome to the forum, which drew an audience of more than 100 people. It was very easy to see Mr. Britt wasn’t present.

As for the comment that most black activists are crybabies, I wonder where you have been looking. The black issues of today center more on economics, education, rebuilding communities and racial equality. The only times African-Americans do hear some strong racial debates is in the case of extreme circumstances such as police brutality, racial profiling, hate crime and job discrimination. Even with those issues, blacks don’t over consume themselves with them because we have lives outside that.

As previously stated by Mr. Britt, slavery was indeed first an issue of economics more so than race. Immigrants coming from Ireland became indentured servants in order to live in early America. After a period of five or six years the indentured slaves would have their freedoms.

However, when business owners wanted a more consistent work force, slavery became more vicious. The Europeans felt superior to non-Europeans and they believed Africans to be wild savages. This is how Europeans justified their treatment of early enslaved Africans.

Regarding white history, Western Civilization, U.S. History and most of all the Humanities can be classified as white history courses. These courses are not nearly as inclusive as they could be in explaining the role blacks and other minorities played in developing this country. This society has been taught to believe a bunch of dead white guys created everything.

As for scholarships, a majority of those are held by white students, and that is not just a norm for Western, but for all colleges and universities across the country.

Finally, affirmative action does not denote quotas. The only requirement affirmative action creates is that employees advertise their job openings to the diverse public. In the end, if someone meets the company standards or interests, this is what gets them hired. However, if a business hired someone “just because” it’s not beneficial to minorities because it is tokenism. Individuals in those situations rarely advance and eventually quit the job. In studies of affirmative action, researchers have argued that white women have benefited more than other minorities.

In closing, the only thing that is overblown is your assumption. You should not assume because when you do it is very easy to judge and most people will, but it takes true intellect to understand.

Tony Davis

Louisville senior

More letters about Joshua Britt’s Sept. 17 letter and other issues will run next week.