I am the founder and director of The Jesus Party, an urban youth outreach organization. For the past 12 years, I have worked with children 5 years old and up in the inner city of Lewiston.

Recently, a few people felt compelled to write letters to the editor, upset that during Black History Month (February), I used Oreo cookies, chocolate milk and M&Ms to promote racial harmony.

One letter writer wrote, “Oreo cookies and chocolate milk, as symbols of of goodwill, seem to me to be, on the one hand, patronizing and sentimental, and, on the other hand, relating people of color to cookies/chocolate on the outside, vanilla inside, and white milk, flavored to become chocolate, and therefore, dehumanizing and insulting.”

The others wrote, “We believe this approach reinforces unhealthy stereotypes and would hinder, rather than encourage, learning about our differences and commonalities.”

The first thing that came to my mind after reading those statements was an illustration. I would compare their letters of objection to a cross between sour balls and Dum-Dum lollipops.

Rev. Doug Taylor, Lewiston

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