Learning a lesson

Editor of the Reformer:

If it weren't for our African-American brethren, representing this country in Rio, where would our Olympic medal count be? Much much lower than our current grand first-place standing.

And yet, these young black athletes, and their sisters and brothers cheering them on in the stands, in their ordinary lives, are subject to suspicions and violence from those in positions of power far in excess than the white population, back home. The irony.

Further, for the most part, these athletes seem full of gratitude and grace (we now have the contrast with their white counterparts in the form of Ryan Lochte and friends). They thank the United States. And it seems genuine. Extraordinary.

The white world may take a lesson from these gracious athletes. I'm sure there is plenty wrong in the black communities across this country, and how much is the country's fault for years of turning it's back, and how much the community itself may be to blame, is up for debate. But to me, it is a glowing example of forgiveness that these athletes are able to thank and embrace this country which has wronged them for so many centuries. And we in turn, should have great gratitude to these athletes, and the culture and communities that produced them.

Arlene Distler, Brattleboro, Aug. 22



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