Columnist Lane Filler needs to remember that Africans were not the only people who came to this country through dubious, violent or dramatic means [“Roots of discrimination and deference,” Opinion, July 13]. The Chinese and Irish, among others, share a part of that history.

Both Filler and Les Payne [“Haunted by our original sin,” Opinion, July 17] fan the flames of violence and unrest. Payne referred to police officers as “uniformed executioners” and “white killer cops.” This perpetuates the stereotypes that lead to misunderstanding or worse.

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Black people today are not the victims of their 19th century history any more than Japanese-Americans continue to be tied to their 20th century time in internment camps. Police officers, sworn to protect all, do not go to work intent on killing people.

Our shared history should shape us as a nation but not define us as different groups. Both Filler and Payne need to stop stereotyping people and start making real, concrete suggestions during this turbulent period. We are in this together.

Jeanne Knudsen, Ridge

Editor’s note: The writer is the mother of a New York City police officer.