Letter To The Editor: Racial Injustice, Dialogue And Healing

By CLIFF SHUNSHENG HAN
Los Alamos

Mr. Steinhaus, thank you for proactively facing this issue (link).

As a first-generation immigrant, a biologist, and a Christian, I’d like to express several points about the current issue.

First, racial discrimination is not new. It did not start 200 years ago in the U.S., not 2000 years ago in Europe, nor 5000 years ago in China. It has been with human beings from the beginning. 

It goes so far back, socio-biologist can see something similar in our close relatives, such as chimpanzees. Chimps kill an individual of other groups who strays into their group’s territory. 

Human tribes fought battles frequently at the prehistoric time. We can still see this kind of fighting among remote indigenous tribes. 

Therefore, human has been selected historically to be alert, cautious, or even hostile to people in other groups, most time yet they have the same skin color. The one who did not excise such caution would be selected out from time to time.

I am not saying that racial discrimination is justified, but that it is part of our original sin. Because of that, racism cannot be rooted out once and for all. It will not be eliminated by reasoning. It can only be reduced by influencing of Christian love. 

To tell you the truth, I experienced more discrimination in my birth country than in the U.S. As a young boy, I relocated to a place less than 50 miles away. It was quite a distance at that time in China. Other kids would surround the stranger who had an unheard dialect and mock him. In contrast, I felt such a welcome when I came here 24 years ago. I believe Christian culture is the foundation for Americans to have such an attitude to foreigners. The person who helped me to buy my first car and repair it was a Christian.

Do we still have racial discrimination? Surely yes and we should get better. While we are improving ourselves, we should recognize and appreciate our progress. No one should use discrimination as an excuse for violence or any other illegal conduct. An angry baby should sit aside and calm down. Los Alamos Schools should tell students that destruction due to anger will not be tolerated. L.A. County should not tolerate such behavior either. 

Finally, I want to say, long-term steady improvement of racial harmony can only be achievable by solidifying our Christian faith-based culture. Human hearts cannot be fulfilled to love others unconditionally without the love from above. 

A mind with reason is cold, and a heart with love is warm.

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