Letters to the Editor

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Racial bias

I read with interest the recent JAVMA News article “Veterinary colleges committed to anti-racism, say Black lives matter.”1 The AVMA is to be commended for bringing this matter to the attention of its members. Unequivocally, Black lives matter. Racial bias should not exist.

According to Shipman,2 DNA evidence indicates that we are all Africans. It makes physiologic sense that everyone residing near or on the equator would be Black because of the greater intensity of UV light.

Growing up on a farm without electricity or indoor plumbing during the 1930s, the time of the Great Depression, gave me an appreciation for not only my hardworking parents, but also many other individuals of various ethnic backgrounds. My school bus was the dairy truck delivering bottled raw milk to city porches starting at 4:00 am. After graduation from high school, I was honored and privileged to serve in the US Navy during WWII so individuals today have the freedom to protest peacefully.

My experience assisting in the establishment and development of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Nairobi in Kenya in the 1960s and 70s gave me valuable insights. This originated as a US Agency for International Development project under Dr. Rue Jensen, dean of the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, to train African veterinarians to prevent, control, and treat the devastating exotic diseases affecting food animals in the country. In 1966, I inherited the job from Dr. Jensen. Among the outstanding Colorado State University veterinarians I sent to Kenya was Dr. Cleon V. Kimberling. Historically, the US Agency for International Development project in Kenya is a sterling and excellent example of the veterinary medical profession's important contributions to the public health and welfare of all human beings, regardless of race or creed.

Nicholas H. Booth, dvm, phd

Jacksonville, Fla

  • 1. Mattson K. Veterinary colleges committed to anti-racism, say Black lives matter. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2020;257:348352.

  • 2. Shipman P. We are all Africans. Am Sci 2003;91:496499.

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