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Western tradition given too much credit

Cathy Young’s March 8 op-ed “In defense of ‘dead white males’ ” is inappropriately Eurocentric, and it misreads history. The movements Young credits as Western — “women’s liberation, racial equality, opposition to class privilege” — only came about once the distinctly Western ideals of imperialism were abandoned, and they were led not by the Western power structure but by outsiders. Margaret Fuller and Martin Luther King certainly would not have viewed themselves as figures in the European tradition.

Furthermore, the cultures of Africa and pre-colonial America reveal a society more in line with these same ideals, distinctly lacking the fear of women and apathetic economies that mark Western culture.

Si Squires-Kasten

Cambridge

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