Jeff Daniels portrays Atticus Finch while Gbenga Akinnagbe plays the role of Tom Robinson during a reading of a portion of the Broadway production of “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the Library of Congress on April 2 in Washington. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Gbenga Akinnagbe’s heartfelt May 12 Sunday Opinion essay, “I’m an actor, but my ‘Mockingbird’ role hurts my heart,” was another opportunity to reflect on “our national struggles,” and clearly his role rekindles a deep negative history, specifically the use of derogatory rhetoric — the n-word. We can’t erase history, only try to heal by making things better, increments at a time. However, isn’t Mr. Akinnagbe’s reference to “white faces with enough disposable income” an attempt to stigmatize some who are not bigots or racists or responsible for historical wrongs simply by being white? 

I have tickets to see “To Kill a Mockingbird” in October. I would wish that my presence won’t offend. I can’t empathize with Mr. Akinnagbe because I am white. I can sympathize, because I am hopefully intelligent enough to appreciate his sensibility. I wish he could appreciate mine more comfortably. It could be a better way to go forward.

Craig L. Wilson, Lusby