Letter to the Editor: Look to past for good example

Editor

Historians record that shortly after the end of the Civil War, Gen. Robert E. Lee astonished members of his Richmond parish by kneeling beside a former slave at the communion rail. Notwithstanding his personal views on race, Lee recognized the vital importance of reconciling North and South. The action of kneeling beside a person of color in a house of religion put into perspective the beliefs of the former combatants when viewed against the backdrop of universal brotherhood, the message of Christ.

Some 80 years later, in the late 1940s, great Brooklyn Dodgers shortstop and team Captain Harold Henry “Pee Wee” Reese walked to first base and stood beside his good friend and teammate Jackie Robinson when Robinson, the first African-American to play major league baseball, met with a torrent of verbal abuse from fans. Staring down the crowd, Reese stood in silence with his friend for a long time.

Without noisy protest, these men, both Southerners, accomplished much toward bridging the racial divide. Activists of today, whether they be “Black Lives Matter” groups or white nationalists, would reverse their efforts.

Self-indulgent disregard for the steps toward reconciliation made by past generations has helped breed the current turmoil in American society and, specifically, on the playing field.

John Clem, Edinburg

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