I read with dismay John Balentine’s July 9 editorial regarding the possibility of a Black Lives Matter mural in Portland. I suspect (or hope) that some on your staff cringed when reading Mr. Balentine’s old school, worn out response to the legitimate concerns of people of color in this country. One of his most disturbing lines was his idea that maybe, just maybe, BLM could “convince their fellow Blacks to stop killing each other” in “crazy liberal cities” like Chicago.

Mr. Balentine’s editorial is evidence that he may well be a classic ranter and raver who never stops to listen. When confronted with new ideas, just start ranting, mock the new idea and blame the other side for their troubles. My suggestion to Mr. Balentine: Stop for a moment and listen. A good place to start might be for Mr. Balentine to stream Oprah Winfrey’s “Where Do We Go From Here?” It was a two-hour special where she explored the problem of systemic racism in America with 12 Black leaders, activists and artists. Powerful stuff. As a regular contributor to The Forecaster, I hope Mr. Balentine accepts a certain amount of responsibility to educate himself and listen, before he writes on a subject that he obviously knows so little about.

Christopher Leighton
Freeport