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Reader's view: Don't ignore the shadow sides we all share

Our mayor, Don Ness, is receiving threats and hate mail, all because he supports the anti-racism Un-Fair Campaign (Our View: "Racism campaign has opportunity to educate," Jan. 31).

Our mayor, Don Ness, is receiving threats and hate mail, all because he supports the anti-racism Un-Fair Campaign (Our View: "Racism campaign has opportunity to educate," Jan. 31).

The campaign alerts those of us who are white to be aware of times when we might be subtly "racist" and enjoying our white privilege in some way, perhaps even unconsciously. Apparently those who are complaining are doing so because they feel they are being called "racist," which they say is being racist.

Even though I consider myself open to all races, I know in my heart I can unconsciously ignore the white privilege that is the default position of communities like mine, in which the majority of people is white. I remember becoming aware of how heterosexuals occupy the default position over homosexuals. I know I don't always even notice when I am assuming my default thinking.

I think to ignore the possibility that we all can be racist in some way is to ignore our shadow sides (those parts of us that are unknown or unwelcome). When that happens, those parts of us show up when we least expect them (or want them).

Instead of feeling threatened by the Un-Fair Campaign, why don't we all open ourselves to the possibility we could be, strive to notice those times, and then be open and welcoming to all?

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A much lovelier and saner world, I think.

Catharine Larsen

Duluth

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