Your editorial comparing the Rev. Al Sharpton’s visit to the president’s is a rhetorical strategy we’ve become all too familiar with lately: the false equivalence ("Black lives matter," June 19).
It became most prominent, of course, when the president, responding to the murder of a protester during a racist rally in Charlottesville, said there are good people — on both sides.
So to borrow from that editorial's template ...
Unlike President Donald Trump, Sharpton seeks to unite people.
Unlike Trump, Sharpton calls for peace (as opposed to the shooting-when-looting approach).
Unlike Trump, Sharpton recognizes that structural racism continues to do great damage to this country.
Unlike Trump, Sharpton wants to do something about it.
The editorial makes a valid argument that any large gathering of people In Oklahoma amid the current COVID-19 spike here is a health risk and should be avoided.
But the comparison between a Trump rally and a Sharpton rally is highly flawed, measurably and observably.
The former openly and enthusiastically sows seeds of cultural antagonization. The latter wants that to end — for everyone.
Editor's Note: Shane M. Graber is a visiting professor and research fellow at Oklahoma State University's School of Media and Strategic Communications.
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