Editor’s note: This letter is in response to a letter to the editor authored by Dr. Baxter Wynn published in our April 2, 2021 print issue. We welcome input from the community we serve. Greenville Journal includes images accompanying letters to the editor when submitted. Letters to the editor do not necessarily express the views of the Greenville Journal. You can read Dr. Wynn’s April 2 letter here.
As a child, I moved to Greenville from San Antonio, Texas in 1960, and my first memory was the small, dark lobby in the downtown airport with a chained sign over the water fountain saying, “Whites Only.”
There has been lots of progress since then, and the article about the biggest lie did not resonate with me. Having worked in different levels of manufacturing most of my career, I did not experience culturally-approved racism. We went to work, ate lunch, and went home to our families. We worked hard and a few with talent and some luck rose to the top. We were free to complain and joke with one another, but it did not affect our teamwork.
The article reminded me of a supervisor giving me an annual review who only cited the bad aspects of my performance. I learned a better supervisor would balance the good with the bad to both motivate me and realize the limits that were part of my likely prospects. I’d leave the talk with a private energy to read the landscape and improve.
Differences between shifts were normal and added a vigor to life. If my supervisor talked about ‘racial equity’ as a goal, where everyone was made to perform the same from the outside, and complaints and jokes were monitored, I would not want to work there anymore, the place where my buddies would have thought the biggest lie was Pilate saying, “Behold, the man.”