The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion In America, more atonement is necessary

A member of Christ Emmanuel Christian Fellowship holds their child during a church service in Cincinnati on Nov. 7.
A member of Christ Emmanuel Christian Fellowship holds their child during a church service in Cincinnati on Nov. 7. (Megan Jelinger/For The Washington Post)
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Steve Luxenberg’s Nov. 23 op-ed, “Plessy’s pardon brings opportunity for atonement,” on the planned pardon of Homer Plessy for illegally riding in a segregated rail car in 1892, was uplifting. Justice was severely delayed in the case, but as Mr. Luxenberg noted, the pardon offers the opportunity “to learn about and honor the long line of 19th-century men and women on whose shoulders [Plessy] stood.”  

Turning to that day’s front page, though, my hopes for that opportunity were dashed by the headline “ ‘Some votes carry more weight than others,’ ” regarding redistricting efforts in Ohio that will likely diminish the strength of Democrats, particularly African American and Hispanic voters. Segregation is no longer legal in this country, and the descendants of those involved in the case, who sought the pardon, can board a train with no worry of being arrested for sitting in the “wrong” car. But gerrymandering is undermining the impact of certain segments of the electorate, leaving me to wonder whether our country will ever overcome its racist history.

Siobhan Dugan, Washington

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