Too little has changed since slavery in US

To the editor:

A passage in Sunday's New York Times reminded me powerfully of the unchanging nature of black life in our country.

An African-American teacher in Iowa was quoted as telling her two sons, 16 and 11, "I am trying to teach them to be men and stand up for themselves, but at the same time I am telling them to back down and not be who they are (around the police)."

This is precisely the message generations of slave parents had to impart to their sons and a daughters about how to behave in the presence of the master. Is it not time for all of us to take a long look at where we are as a country regarding race and say, all of us, "This has got to stop."

Charles B. Dew, Williamstown