Home Commentary Open forum Amelia Royko Responds to Shelia Hill

Amelia Royko Responds to Shelia Hill


Dear Source:
In response to Sheila: A person is more apt to be empathetic when approached in a kind manner, not with a punch to the gut. I never understand how intelligent women who have finally achieved economic and strategic power in the workforce wind up dressing and behaving like their once opressive bosses. In that case- what have we learned from opression??? How have we progressed??? How are we better then our former opressor? My expectations for ALL people including African Americans are the same. I do not offer consolation to someone based on their skin color because that is like saying "you go ahead and act that way (like an angry or apathetic child) because your not CAPABLE of behaving otherwise based on some kind of socially inherited disposition. You needn't be responsible for your actions (like a child)". THAT way of thinking is racism in it's most disguised and powerful form today in this country and the people of color I know and grew up with in my family who have risen above were not privilaged and do not opperate with that sort of thinking. That offering is crippling in and of itself and a recipe for failure. I do believe St. Johnians are smart enough and capable enough to pridefully motivate and organize and come together to create solidarity on their island that protects what they own and deserve without being rude, racist or violent. What is to be said for children who grow up with that negative irresponsible message? They are destined to lose.
What is it saying if I scorn the drunken sunburned american who stumbles off of his yacht and mistreats a waitress, but make excuses for the man next to him because of his skin color. It says I don't believe they should be treated equally when considering their capability and potential as human beings. That is a message I do not believe in and find extremely dangerous.
So, as I do understand what you are saying, and do often consider the tremors of slavery in todays world, the message you are passing is not a progressive one and will offer St. Johnians nothing for a future but selfpity, fear, and lack of responsibility for their behaviour which is not something the market, government nor the law considers when reacting. The message should be to motivate, rise above and do it better. Sure it's not easy- but neither is watching a bunch of rich white people bombard your island with abandon, right?
Amelia Royko
Madison, Wis.

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