Viewpoint columns in the June 4 Sentinel seem to suffer from what has been termed, “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” To wit: People of color cannot be held, to the same degree as whites, to the laws that govern civil society or meet the basic procedures and rules for voting. But haven’t Blacks been meeting the same expectations as whites for decades?

As to the proffered martyrdom of George Floyd, he was not innocently walking down the street and racism was not charged in the prosecution of the former officer convicted in his death. So, a few questions suggest themselves.

Where is the empirical evidence that America is systemically racist? And can we know how Jesus thinks about public policy specifically? What is our confidence in knowing how a majority of Blacks feel walking down any street always and everywhere? Do Blacks on the south side of Chicago fear just white police officers or perhaps also other Blacks?

What empirical evidence do we have in 2021 that Georgia purposely intends to suppress the voting rights of eligible voters or disenfranchise Black citizens? As to the charge that white Americans have not adequately thought about race, I submit that not only have whites given much thought to race, but they have been inundated with race polemics for at least the last 50 years. Many whites and Blacks simply don’t buy the narrative. And given this one-sided drumbeat radical narrative, we should not be surprised that race relations are deteriorating. Romanticizing the life and death of George Floyd and the emotional appeal for civil upheaval does not appear to be helpful. Platitudes used in Viewpoints seem more like propaganda rather than a search for Christian truth.

Marty Owen

Lake Oswego