Recently there have been examples of racism in the news. I wonder about that. Then, on Monday, April 28, Jon Stewart said something that caught my attention: ''The country seems to understand that being a racist is wrong, that racism is wrong. But, the country is lost on the definitions of racism and racist.''
That makes sense. Recent offenders have cried to the cameras: ''But I'm not a racist. I have black friends.''
I've wondered why their black friends haven't applied the brickbat of common sense - but then, I remember this: A while back at Panera, a group of adults sat with a boy. He told a joke about ''stupid-eye Italians'' and ''dumb Pollocks.'' All the adults laughed. Not one adult stopped it and said it was wrong.
It reminded me of how my mom would disallow any such ''humor'' because, as she said, ''It isn't right if it makes fun of others.'' My mom was a believer in a polite society, where civility made everyone at home.
So, I wonder: Is this a polite, civil society? Is Jon Stewart right in his assertion that we do not understand the definition of racism? Do we not know what a racist is?
To the editors of the Tribune Chronicle, the local officials, the residents of Warren and Trumbull County, I make this challenge: Define racist, describe racism. Start a conversation, here.