I’ve been troubled all day after reading Sunday's article, "Ex-UW athlete reflects on attack," about the racial slurs and the attack on Trent Jackson. Jackson was attacked apparently for no other reason than he is African-American. Jackson should be able to take his dog for a walk without fear of racially motivated attack.

I can’t help but make the connection between this attack and the disregard the current president has for how his actions set the standard for behavior for Americans. It appears all other presidents, save the current one, paused before speaking and gave thought to how their actions might affect the public, and how their comments might give license for behavior of its citizens.

I’m not saying the current president is the only one at fault here. Much work remains for all of us to ensure justice and safety for people of color. But it seems to me people who previously would have kept their racism to themselves now feel it is acceptable for them to give it voice.

Mary Strait, Fitchburg