Wow, such luck that an opinion column by George Will about a highly conservative judicial group along with a letter from Larry Langevin, who criticizes Davante Lewis’ guest column, both appear on the editorial pages on the same day. One would never connect these two if it weren’t for two books that were published this year. If Will and Langevin had read either book their opinions might be different or maybe wouldn’t appear at all.

Eric Foner’s book, “The Second Founding”, on the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, and Eduardo Porter’s book, “American Poison,” both give evidence of why conditions of African Americans are what they are. These two books point to lack of opportunity and downright discrimination.

Both of these books bring to light how the courts, federal and state, stole the rights of African Americans immediately after rights and opportunities were opened to them right after these amendments were passed. Both authors, one a well-known historian and the other a noted economic journalist, demonstrate how African American rights were subverted through the actions of conservative courts and the racist actions of fearful whites. They provide evidence for the facts cited in Lewis’ column.

Today we see some of the same things happening. At the beginning of Jim Crow, African Americans were lynched, especially men. Today, we see wholesale killing of men of African descent. Court actions have already eroded many of their rights but now courts are being stacked with conservatives who are subverting the rights of non-whites even further.

The headline for Will’s column is “Liberals just don’t like conservative lawyers, judges.” Well. I wonder why? Read either one book and you’ll know.

Langevin blames the victim as has been done throughout U.S. history. Wake up to the truth. Why are these non-whites such a threat?

Ask yourself, “Why has every other group who has come to this country been able to achieve the American Dream, but for those whose labor was stolen to build this country?”

While we are isolated in our homes with the time to think and reason, let us hope that we will realize that injustices need changing, that change begins with each of us. Open your eyes and see the truth.

MERLE T. HARRIS

retired educator

New Orleans

Guest column: Louisiana's underlying condition in coronavirus pandemic? Racism