Letters to the Editor

The oak tree called me racist

Can anyone successfully refute the allegation of being a racist? Are everyone’s intentions and words now judged on the concept of color if a perceived association can be made between a word and racism? What prompted these questions was my recent discussion with an oak tree.

As I walked along a wooded trail I saw two beautiful trees. One was an oak tree and the other was a poplar. The oak tree had wonderful green leaves. The poplar leaves had lost their green color and had changed to red, yellow and gold. I stopped, looked, and finally exclaimed, “What beautiful fall colors those leaves are.”

I was startled when the oak tree replied, “Why are you criticizing my green leaves?” A tree had never spoken to me before, so it took a moment to collect my senses. Finally I answered that I wasn’t depreciating the color of its leaves, only remarking on the different beauty of the other leaves. The oak tree didn’t accept my answer. It complained that I was a horrible person because I always walked by without acknowledging its importance. It continued, “You are obviously a racist because you never showed me enough respect.”

What could I say to convince that tree otherwise? Would it ever believe any explanation I could offer; or would it merely continue that charge against me for which there is never an answer? To that oak tree, I was just an unfeeling and uncaring racist.

Will Clark