To the editor:
Sorry, Rep. Jenkins. Your apology may have been sincere, but it is not enough. Pairing the apology with claimed ignorance regarding the meaning of the phrase “Great White Hope” renders your white light excuse suspect. Were you indeed unaware of the implications of your slur, then you need to educate yourself about the culture in which we live.
It is unacceptable in this time of fear, anger and violence to casually use language that not only offends, but perpetuates the divisions and hate-mongering which permeate our society. If your thinking and your speech harbor the casual use of such phrases, then you are participating in the continuation and intensification of our cultural racial wounds.
You are in a position of leadership, trust and responsibility. It is imperative that our leaders be healers and always positive role models, rather than dividers.