[Editor’s note: This letter responds to a letter to the editor, “Opinion piece on ‘white privilege’ off base,” by Ron Neville. It was published Jan. 18, in response to a Jan. 7 opinion article, “White privilege on full display amid insurrection,” by Springfield Business Journal Web Editor Geoff Pickle.]
This is in response to Ron Neville’s letter to you, and in turn, its reception by your readers.
In some ways, I couldn’t have said it better than Ron: “You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to a unique set of facts which fit your agenda. Reality is truth.”
This publication thinks it can, on one page, honor Imari Stout as one of Springfield’s 40 Under 40 as the leader of Springfield Black Lives Matter. And on the next will print a letter that states that white privilege is a matter of opinion. These two ideologies cannot co-exist. And these ideologies do, in fact, matter in the business world.
If this publication is willing to amplify and print a voice that states the “facts” are that white privilege doesn’t exist and that authoritarian force does not impact communities of color on a greater scale, then you are doing all your readers an injustice and perpetuating false claims.
Statements like these disenfranchise our community and business owners of color whose voices we should value and actively listen to right now. Perpetuating statements like Ron’s will only drive away business owners, readers and customers, because it shows this publication, and its supporters, true values.
I encourage you to consider what voices you amplify, and what “facts” you give page space to.
—Rachel Johnson, of Springfield
Longtime grilling hobbyists made a professional pivot with the opening of The Grill Guys of Missouri LLC; new ownership took over personal training business Big Time Results; and friends and first-time business owners Kathryn Barber and Madi Sheppard launched Ozark Mountain Hydration.