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I AM WRITING IN RESPONSE to “Color Blind” by Jonetta Rose Barras (1/27). Barras states that “[r]apacious plantation owners virtually raped their female slaves.” Those men had the power to kill, maim, and torture those women and their loved ones, or separate them forever from their families by selling them apart, and those women had no legal recourse whatsoever. Surely a demand for sex under the threat of death and other horrors constitutes actual, and not just virtual, rape.

Arlington, Va.