Social class, not skin color, is key difference

Re: “Unpacking the ‘soul-sickness’ of racism” (News Analysis, July 24); “Racially worlds apart” (God Lives, July 24).

Both Msgr. Owen F. Campion and Father Bryan Massingale spoke as if all blacks are alike. The difference among people is no longer a difference in race. Instead, focus on social class variables. In other words, I dare say, most whites above the lower class interact well with minorities. Moreover, they do not care what color their neighbors are. They care very much about their neighbors’ social class. They want, as do I, to interact with neighbors whose social class values are more or less like their own; specifically: religion, marriage, education, work ethic, law, cleanliness, manners, consideration for others and so forth.

Example: I am located in exurbia. Being halfway between suburban and rural America, my neighbors are mostly middle class. One nearby white has trashed his formerly beautiful property. A short distance away is a black family whose property is always well kept up. Now guess which neighbor I prefer. In short, it’s not race; it’s social class variables. What can be done? There are solutions but nothing can even begin to happen until we cease thinking of all blacks as members of one social class.

Kenneth A. Cory, China, Michigan

Racial equality

Re: “Unpacking the ‘soul-sickness’ of racism” (News Analysis, July 24).

After I read Father Bryan Massingale, I couldn’t help but recall my own brush with racism — coming from a white man’s point of view. I remember being told in the 1960s I was a spoiled rich white kid, and also in the ’60s, that blacks can’t be racists. But from my experience of being poor and seeing a sheriff’s sale notice on a telephone pole because my dad couldn’t pay the bills and looking into a refrigerator and only seeing celery and carrot sticks reminded me about being poor. But in a housing project, both blacks and whites were poor, and injustice was on both sides.

Man is sinful, and a color of a man’s skin doesn’t make him more or less sinful, but we are all in need of healing.

Craig Galik, Duquesne, Pennsylvania

Senator’s record

Re: “Politicians in the pews” (God Lives, Aug. 7).

Sen. Tim Kaine has a zero percent pro-life voting record in the current legislative session, according to the National Right to Life scorecard. He opposed a 20-week ban on abortion, supported taxpayer funding of the nation’s largest abortion operation, Planned Parenthood, and opposed the repeal of the anti-life provisions of Obamacare.

Recently, he shocked many people by reversing his support of the Hyde Amendment, which ensures that no federal tax dollars can be directly spent on abortion and has saved an estimated 1 million lives from the tragedy of abortion. Kaine may say he is personally opposed to abortion, but his legislative record shows that he opposes life-saving, pro-life legislation.

Maria V. Gallagher, via email

At-home pilgrimage

Re: “The expert’s guide to an armchair pilgrimage” (Faith, July 31).

Bill Dodds’ article is a real eye-opener, as I had never thought of doing a pilgrimage in this way.

It’s full of practical tips such as the resources the armchair pilgrim can avail himself of and the requirements to make a meaningful pilgrimage, such as going to confession first.

Vincent Foo, via online comment

Icons of Mercy

Re: “Paying the ultimate price for mercy” (Faith, July 3).

Like his Divine Master, St. Maximilian followed the words and the truth spelled out by Jesus: “No greater love than this has any man that he lay down his life for his friends.”

It was for this reason that Pope St. John Paul II canonized this holy Conventual Franciscan Friar as a “Martyr of Charity.”

Paul Varga, via online comment
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