I see the shootings at Emanuel AME Church as a product of America’s reluctance and unwillingness to seriously discuss race — black and white, in this country. Our youth, black and white, know this is not desirable.

What if we could talk about race, the relationship of African-Americans and European-Americans, without being classified as racist? What if we could recognize the deep-seated fears and suspicions we have been taught to have of each other, black and white? What if we could admit how we Americans, black and white, have been conditioned to see each other? What if we learned that we are all family, black and white?

Can a country that has advanced its superpower position in the world through meticulous cultivation of the fractionalization of black people now, for reasons of preservation, come to terms with its “sins” and chart a new, bold course of correction?

Gary L. Burgess, Sr.

Sweetheart Nook

Pendleton