Anthony Bonaparte's piece, “As I remember, forgive me for thinking that not much will really change" (June 17) about the killing of George Floyd is unsettling but gives us much needed food for thought.While Bonaparte lists names of black people who were cruelly treated because of the colour of their skin, I was reminded of my first book report in high school, which was based on an experience of a white man, who darkened his skin, and travelled through the US segregated South in 1961, to sense what it was like to be black.
The book, "Black Like Me" by John Howard Griffin, was an eye-opener especially for a white guy like me, who because of circumstances only had black friends growing up . Let's back up.
After WWII, my father, a war veteran, worked for the East African Railways Company. As a result, we moved often and lived in various countries including Kenya, Tanganyika (now Tanzania) and Uganda.
In those days, it was customary for the employer to subsidize the cost of housing which included having a servant. On more than one occasion, I was asked by servants when ‘Bwana’ was coming home because they looked forward to my father coming over to their quarters with an ale or two. I would tag along and play with their children while the adults relaxed with a drink.
At any rate, 60 years later, recent incidents such as the racist video posted on social media involving West Island teens indicate more education is needed for our youth.
Part of this education should include the reading of Griffin's book, a more comprehesive Black History program , and visits to the Montreal Holocaust Museum to sensitize our youth about "antisemitism , racism, hate and indifference."
Add the Quebec government's promise to pick up the tab for students to participate in exta-curricular cultural activities, then perhaps these initiatives may indeed produce a much-needed change regarding racial injustice.
Chris Eustace Pierrefonds, QC 514 620-0726