Our Declaration of Independence proclaims us to be a nation of equal citizens with inalienable rights. This preamble to our democracy’s rule book does not separate farmers from urbanists, Jewish from Methodists, laborers from doctors, Native Americans from immigrants, or southerners from northerners.

Our most sacred document does not sort by White, Black, Latino, Asian and Native American or by any ethnicity. (Yet, why do we continue to institutionalize the divisiveness of ethnicity that reinforces the ugly legacy of racism?) This is a crime against all of us, and against our nation. This creates the fear and isolation that tears at our hearts and our country; that creates the emotional injustice of any individual being fearful in a crowd and only being seen as a stereotype.

This 200-year-old wave of unfounded fears must end. But how? By sincere and simple courtesies extended to all, and by halting the institutionalization of divineness by our government.

Let’s have our government and all entities that collect data stop tracking the legacy of racism on all government forms, and employment surveys or any data collection, including census forms. No more classifying identity by White, Black, Latino, Asian, Native American; only Naturalized Citizen, Citizen, Immigrant, or other non-racial categories. An individual’s name, address, phone number and other information can still be tracked to slice and dice data, but we don’t need to continually reinforce past racism. Could we please be identified by citizen, immigration status, and our names?

Please, let’s only sort laundry by color.

Dave Trapp, Onalaska

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