To the editor:

The United States has a sordid history of oppressing blacks and minorities for over 400 years. Slavery began in the Virginia Colony in 1609. In 2017, we have yet to live out the true meaning of our creed “…that all men are created equal.”

Southern oligarchs justified slavery with twisted religious beliefs until the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War. For that 250-year period, the law required all slaves be illiterate. For a little over a decade, ex-slaves were free but woefully too ignorant to handle life in white-dominated society.

The compromise resolving the 1874 presidential election and constitutional crises installed Jim Crow law, pretty much an equal of Sharia law, and the Ku-Klux-Klan.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended that era. The decade of the 1970s was tumultuous and ushered in a new Jim Crow era known as “The War on Drugs” and mandatory minimum sentences of “Law and Order.” Now the United States has the universes’ largest prison population dominated by blacks and minorities. When black lives matter as much as white lives, we will have come closer to a “… more perfect Union securing the blessings of liberty…”

During Jim Crow, 3,141 lynchings and countless racially motivated murders dominated what was the Confederate States.

Since 1976, the ex-Confederate States dominate the legal-lynchings of death sentences. Fifty -five percent of death row inmates are men of color versus 42 percent white.

Donald J. Trump used his fortune advocating in three full newspaper page ads for the death penalty of five innocent black juveniles.

The NFL and the NBA are 97 percent white oligarch owned. The pro sport venues are 100 percent built with tax dollars (corporate welfare) with high class boxes for the oligarchs.

Common taxpayers can’t afford a pro-sports ticket. 70 percent of the NFL and 75 percent of the NBA players are black. The average career for an NFL player is 3.5 years. Those affected with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is near 100 percent.

Players like Kaepernick are making the point that when the U. S. “establishes justice” They will proudly stand for the national anthem.

Trump is an ignorant bigot oligarch who bemeans courageous people like Kaepernick as SOBs. Walden by his silence is complicit. It is time for the people of the “Home of the Brave” make ours the “Land of the Free” where all are created equal. It is time Oregon’s 2nd District have a “brave” congressman!

Terry B. Armentrout

The Dalles

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