In reading another letter Oct. 2 where statements that privilege and liberty are only given to white people and black people have had to “demand it,” I’d like the Rev. Brown to travel to the mountains of Appalachia in West Virginia and Pennsylvania where I grew up and explain to those people how their “white privilege” provided them with such a wonderful life of living in poverty!

I’d like him to explain how people like Dr. Ben Carson and President Obama along with many other black Americans have found such incredible success in a supposed systemically racist country like America.

Are there racist people in America? Absolutely, racists exist in all groups (whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, etc.) If America is a systemically racist country why do millions of people all over the world want to migrate here? The answer is they see our country as the “land of opportunity.”

Opportunity isn’t a privilege that is given, it is something that’s earned and nearly always requires hard work and risk.

I came out of the mountains of Appalachia with nothing and entered the Army. The risk? You pledge to give everything including your life in defense of your country. The opportunity? You learn a skill, earn the GI Bill, and gain an education to help you build a better life.

Life is made of choices. One of them is you can look to the past and blame lack of success and opportunity on things that happened 100 to 160 years ago or you can look to the future, take the risks, create the opportunity, and build a better life. Given those choices I’ll pick the future!

Larry Allis