Letter to the JI

The following letter to the editor of the Journal Inquirer was published in edited form on June 16, 2020.

Dear Editor:

I was one of the many hundreds marching Saturday, June 6 from the Manchester Town Hall to the Police Station a mile away. At least half of the people gathered were white, and all mostly young and passionate. The most common chant was “Black Lives Matter.”

We marched by the Nazarene Church building at 466 Main Street that has had many uses. It is now part of the MACC (Manchester Area Conference of Churches) complex. It was the first religious home of Manchester’s Unitarian Universalist Society: East, now located at 153 West Vernon Street. The building reminded me that a young girl named Elizabeth Anderson attended the Society’s Sunday school in the 1970s. She has since become one of the world’s most renowned philosophers and is on the faculty of the University of Michigan. Her books have earned her an international reputation as a practical thinker.

The New Yorker a year ago termed Professor Anderson “…a champion of the view that equality and freedom are mutually dependent.” In one of her books, The Imperative of Integration with copyright in 2010 by Princeton University Press, she explains in great detail how she came to this view. One line stands out:

“It is necessary to block and dismantle the mechanisms that perpetuate unjust social inequality, and to realize the promise of a democratic state that is equally responsive and accountable to citizens of all identities.” From page 180 of her book.

After Saturday’s march across Manchester, I am now more convinced that Professor Anderson, this wonderful product of our town, is right. Equality and freedom are mutually dependent. For all of us. Saturday was a refreshing proof of her view. Very truly yours,

Malcolm F. Barlow