In race relations, we have good reason for hope

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I’d like to respond to Paige McKenzie’s good questions as to whether a post-racial America can ever exist, and whether there is hope (“A Post-Racial America Does Not Exist,” Aug. 20 letters). No, there probably won’t ever be a post-racial America in which no racism exists, but there is hope. Let me explain.

I’m a Pittsburgh native, white, 55 years old, went to Peabody High School, now Obama High School. When I was growing up, instances of racism and prejudice were common. But I look at what has changed. I look at my son’s friends, and how his groups have always included people of different races. Jared spoke highly of his roommate at a music camp he attended in Ohio this summer. When we went to pick up Jared we then met Miles, who is African-American. Jared never mentioned this because, to him, there was no reason to.

I look at young people and young adults hanging out in areas like Oakland and Squirrel Hill. I see people of different races together, as couples, groups, everything. And it’s a natural thing because I don’t think the different races involved matter to the people involved.

There has been so much change from the Pittsburgh in which I grew up. And I’m really proud and happy about that.

There is still racism, and there always will be. If you look around the world right now, it’s frightening how much racism, tribalism and religious persecution and violence is going on. And I, too, despair about Ferguson, Missouri. But I have hope and, I think, good reason to hope.

ALAN STEINBERG
Forest Hills


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