The readers’ forum

Reach out — isolation breeds prejudice


Leonard Pitts’ July 28 column, The story we’re not telling , was masterful. How true that “pens, typewriters and cameras” made the injustices toward blacks more visible and, therefore, intolerable. Why, then, have we not made more progress? These same pens and cameras can give us false information as well. We need to use another powerful tool: personal contact.

I can honestly say that I don’t view someone as a threat because of his race, age or gender. I also know that those around me often do.

What makes me different? It was social contact. In the ’60s I worked with young children and their families in Overtown and taught teens in the evening. Throughout my teaching career I had the opportunity to get to know families of different races and ethnic backgrounds. I’m still involved with youth from underserved areas through an outreach program with Sierra Club. These personal experiences with people, not what I read or heard, shaped my opinion of them.

We fear and misunderstand what we don’t know. Social contact will not dispel all prejudice, but it will begin to build a foundation of mutual trust.

Karen Kerr, Miami

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