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Letter: Devaluing humans with 'otherness'

I recently heard a minister-turned-congressman from Mississippi address the blackface controversy from a black man's point-of-view.

He said it was demeaning for a person to take his "someone-ness" and flippantly turn it into "otherness." He said whites put on blackface to degrade, demean and disregard blacks and in so doing they dehumanized blacks and that practice was deplorable. He appeared pained and broken as he discussed this.

I agree with this congressman. His statement about taking his "someone-ness" and turning it into "otherness" was profound. The process of dehumanization and devaluing a sacred fellow human being is totally unacceptable and should not be tolerated.

It should be unthinkable to cast aside someone's humanity, to decimate their worth as a fellow human being, and to rob them of their personhood, yet, that is exactly what we are doing to another group of people.

When a human sperm and egg unite they form a cell with its own unique, never-before-created DNA code. The human potential in that cell is miraculously multiplied. Rather than recognize this individual's sacred being, we dehumanize him or her by calling it a fetus rather than a baby. We take this baby's "someone-ness" and turn it into "otherness" and discount his/her worth by stating that at a certain point of development he/she is not "viable."

Although not viable, they are still valuable. And even as the miracle of the multiplied cells creates eyes, fingerprints and smiles we detach ourselves from the baby's "someone-ness" and turn it into an abstract "otherness" and say it is a choice.

As abhorrent as the blackface scandal is, we should be much more outraged at the dehumanization of the unborn. If babies were puppies, the abortion industry would be shut down. No one would stand for it! How much more should we be saving the lives of these precious human infants?

Even if you have no religious underpinnings where you view humans as created in the image of God, surely you recognize that an abortion is killing a baby, a fellow human being.

Let us no longer take a little person's "someone-ness" and callously turn it into discarded "otherness."

Sandy Johnson

Lake Nebagamon

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