In recent days an acquaintance of mine sent me a column from the Wall Street Journal which maintained that racism was dead as an issue in the current political campaign.

My response to him was this: "Do you really believe that discrimination is a dead issue today? That hundreds of years of slavery, Jim Crowism, segregation, lynching, red-lining and discrimination are not still affecting how many people live their lives and relate to each other.

"Are you aware that hate crimes are up 17% in the past 2 years?" I suggested that he read about the Red Summer of 1919 on page A4 of The Free Press, or Page A2 of the Star Tribune, both on July 26.

Such incidents affect people for generations. I believe that while racial bigotry may have lessened gradually over the years in large part to education, it has remained alive and well in a significant portion of our population, waiting to be stoked to life, given approval, by a "leader."

Sadly, that leader has arrived in the person of Donald J. Trump, the president of our country. Only an aware and responsible voting public can save us.

Gene Biewen

Mankato

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