Editor,

Chris Sturken wrote in his letter to the editor, in the Nov. 3 issue of the Daily Journal, that “color blindness enables white people to ignore how systemic racism affects people of color” and that Steven Howard’s letter is an example of “gaslighting.” My response to Sturken’s statements are that as an Asian American, a person of color, my experiences with systemic racism are none. And that to accuse a reader of the Journal of gaslighting for his honest opinion is indicative of a wish to characterize a deliberate dishonesty, a misinformation, as a result of Howard’s unfortunate skin color.

Systemic racism is a nebulous excuse for the bigotry of low expectations. As an Asian, the system has proved generous to me and my family. My parents were hard-working immigrants with nothing but college educations when the came here. They came here with nothing and have given me everything. The low expectation that persons of color need something above color blindness from its citizens has the political impact of resulting in demands for monetary reparations to descendants of slaves or to undocumented aliens crossing the border. Low expectations have led to crime infested and impoverished neighborhoods led by the same jaded politicians, forever and 55 years during my lifetime. Having low expectations and blaming it on racism has been the hue and cry for decades.

There is only intentional and willful speech and action that is racist in nature, a deliberate sin, not some straw man and hand-waved “systemic racism” that is to blame for what is wrong in the modern world. That is my experience in life as a person of color.

James Constantino

Daly City

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(13) comments

edkahl

Thank you for your thoughtful appraisal of CRT which says we are all racist while there are still some racist our country, American is not a racist country. America provides more civil rights protection than any other county and we have assimilated more people from other countries than any other nation. It’s why America is the first choice for immigration.

CRT is a political construct designed to separate America into racial political identity groups to change our country into a Communist system of supposedly “equal” outcomes. Woke CRT theory brands all merit based accomplishments as racist.

Tafhdyd

Mr. Constantino,

Coming from a person of color, I would like to get onboard your idea that there is not “systemic racism”, at least you have not experienced it. I have a few questions and must add that I am from a different generation than yourself. Unfortunately, from what I can read in your letter, I feel that one reason you may not have experienced racism is that, at least to me, you seem to be a person of "privilege", not “white privilege”, just "privilege".

When I grew up down the road in Los Altos, it was mostly orchards and fields, and there were basically two kinds of people with a few exceptions. You were White or you were a person of color. If you were Asian you were not a person of color, you were Chinese or Japanese or Korean, etc. If you were Hispanic you were not a person of color, you were Spanish or Mexican. If you were a person of color you were Black. Enough of my historical background. I have a few questions that would make your position more understandable to me.

You indicated that your parents immigrated to America but you did not clarify if you were born here or were a child when they came here. I would be curious to know your background as to where you attended school (public or private) and the type of neighborhood your grew up in. You stated that your parents came here “with nothing but college educations”. Based on your age I would guess they came here sometime in the sixties. A time when about 75-80% of Americans did not have a college education. I wouldn’t call that “nothing”. A lot of stories about immigrants coming here have a line or two like… arrived not speaking the language with nothing but a handbag and the name of a distant relative that may help them find a job washing dishes.

To borrow a line from the TV show “Columbo”, … one more thing…Probably the thing that I am most curious about is your ethnic background. Being as I do not know any Asians with a predominately Italian name, I wondered if you were raised as a Constantino or if it changed due to a legal event such as a marriage. If raised as a Constantino you would have half the battle won. At least with a résumé or an application you may get a chance to talk or at least introduce yourself whereas with a name such as Cheng or Nguyen you may not.

Jorg

Tafhdyd:

This happened to me some time ago. While no systemic racism, it is a clear example a racism I’m not sure has changed much. Prompted by my Mom, I visited some remote relatives of her some time ago, and before I knew what was happening, I was engaged in a discussion about black people, telling me, new in the country, how terrible they were. I countered and said I had never had any problems with colored people, although I had some misgivings about some white people I had encountered! So, to really make me understand, they painted this scenario: “OK, Jorg, let’s say you have a daughter someday, and then she drags home a slob of an uneducated, jobless n*gg*r! How would you react to that?” I was flabbergasted, and asked why would a daughter of mine drag home a slob of any color? What she eventually “dragged” home was the finest gentleman I have ever met, with top education in his field, a world sports champion, and totally out of the league of the racist family I had met. And, yes, he had worked in Africa, bringing black babies into this world, but so what?

Ray Fowler

Hey, Tafhdyd

You have heard me say many times that the "systemic racism" mantra is just DNC gobbledygook... it is. Check the studies that rank the most racist countries in the world... you won't find the US in the top 5 or even the top 20 of most racist countries. At the same time, I have acknowledged there are racists in our country... there are... and it's up to everyone, regardless of party affiliation, to oppose them. In the end, the fact remains that racism does not permeate everything in our nation.

I could not be more pleased to hear that James' story is a positive one... maybe he didn't have it as tough as other persons of color, but he has succeeded, and I feel there is value in his criticism of our culture fostering low expectations. Persons of any color who fall into that trap have a difficult time escaping. Where do we see low expectations holding back persons of color? Primarily in our inner cities with elected Democratic Party leadership. If you have any data to suggest otherwise, please share it.

The left had no problems hurling insults at Tim Scott when he declared there is systemic racism in the US especially as he offered up his experience as proof. Now, the left is ignoring Winsome Sears... she will tell you that the DNC's systemic racism mantra is a lie. She knows.

I submitted an LTE yesterday. I hope it gets into the DJ over the next couple of days. If it does, I think you'll enjoy it.

Ray Fowler

Oops! Tim Scott declared there is NO systemic racism in the US. My error... sorry. I guess some residual anesthetic is still hanging around...

Tommy Tee

Racism is real, even if you aren't a racist. White privilege is real, even if you don't feel it. Your world isn't the world.

Dirk van Ulden

Tommy - I think James is talking to you. Low expectations and just blame your failures on white privilege; there is no such thing as privilege. It all depends on what you want to achieve, just ask Obama and Power.

Terence Y

Fortunately, Tommy, your world isn’t the world, either.

Ray Fowler

Tommy... I don't recall anyone who posts to these pages ever saying that racism is not real. However, CRT and promoting white privilege as something evil and ubiquitous is pure propaganda. The folks who promote that point of view always seem to skip over the fact that Americans elected an African-American to the presidency twice.

My mother's family came to California seeking any job available. The family was poor, and when they arrived in the Central Valley, they slept in a tent next to a bridge over a dry riverbed. Others that trekked west out of the Dust Bowl were turned back at the California border. Those who stayed persevered. They are the "Okies" described in John Steinbeck's book, "The Grapes of Wrath." Where was their white privilege?

The reality is that no one should be treated differently as a result of their skin color, but we both know that does not always happen. Telling someone who is white that they are evil and responsible for all racial injustices just because they are white isn't the world.

Tafhdyd

Ray,

I will have more time tomorrow but just a comment on your first line. I don't remember anyone saying there was no racism but I do remember CC saying there was no racism around these parts.

Ray Fowler

I'm sure your memory is better than mine. CC could have easily said no racism around these parts as we don't often see overt racism in liberal bastions like San Mateo County. I disagree with folks who say there is systemic racism in these parts, but I'm sure there are some racists out there keeping their heads down.

Terence Y

Mr. Constantino – well written letter defining systemic racism and the nature of racism. All those pushing a systemic this and systemic that thing are unable to define what “systemic” truly means. Congratulations to your parents for achieving success, as millions of other immigrant families have done.

Ray Fowler

Hello, James

Thanks for your letter. It packs a powerful wallop based on your personal experience. I get it... we all get it... the experiences of other persons of color will be different. So, how do we set aside the bigotry of low expectations in a way that lets everyone succeed as you have done?

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