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Letters to the Editor

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GOP’s message to people of color: You are now on your own

Dear Editor,

Virginia Republicans have spoken and the message is not nice. Especially to Virginia African-Americans and people of color. Youngkin and his slate ran against the Democrats’ programs to help the poor and those most hurt by the pandemic; against the logical behavior to fight the pandemic with vaccine. They ran against the teaching of Critical Race Theory, which is not taught in Virginia Public Schools to begin with.

But what if it was taught in some fashion? Some people interpret any mention of racial inequality as Critical Race theory. Maybe some white people do not want to be blamed for slavery. But racial injustice continues to exist. It is the truth! Sociologists have studied racial inequality for over 100 years. The data is clear.

Slavery is over and no one in present-day American can be blamed for it. But racial injustice continued. Black people were discriminated against after slavery from getting land, education and work. There was police injustice and lynching. It continued through Jim Crow laws and “separate but equal,” and it was never equal. Even after WWII the Veteran’s housing assistance programs were denied to Black Veterans. That policy grew the suburbs and helped many people acquire wealth because the wealth of the majority of Americans is in their homes. But along with redlining, this limited black people’s ability to develop wealth.

And this racial inequality and injustice continues today. Discrimination in housing, education, employment still occurs. Black people are more likely to be living in inner cities with poor education, housing, poverty, fewer services, good jobs and unequal, often unjust, policing. One inequality perpetuates another and the effects accumulate. The reactions against Civil War monuments and police injustice such as the killing of George Floyd reflect the reactions to racial injustice and inequality. It is not over. Black people still experience discrimination in education, housing, employment, medical care. That is why they were more susceptible to serious COVID - poorer health meant they were more likely to be working in jobs that exposed them to COVID.

For a while it seemed that white Americans became aware of these injustices and were supportive of changes. But Virginia Republicans sent the opposite message. “We don’t care, we don’t believe injustice exists.” Is this the message they intended to send?

Our children must know the truth, not a whitewashed history! At this point it doesn’t matter who is responsible for the plight of African Americans, the inequality and social injustice is real. It is our responsibility as Americans to to care about other Americans, and to make life better for everyone. Black Lives Matter!

Judi Anne Sheppard

Crozier

Despite the bumper crop of bad news, good still goes on

Dear Editor,

Americans and the media seem obsessed with bad news. You hear daily that the economy is in shambles, wages are low, opportunity is even lower and nobody wants to work.  Well, read what happened to me in the last few days and maybe you will start to realize things aren’t as bad as people want you to think.

Our washer/dryer combo died last week. I looked up when we bought it and to found it was at least 12 years old. Investigating its problem, I ascertained that it had several major problems that I could not repair. So repairing it would take some time and probably cost at least $600. Buying a new one seemed overly optimistic because, after all, the economy is horrible, imports are waiting be unloaded and no one is working or knows what they are doing.  Right? No, wrong!

This last Saturday, I looked online and found several businesses that claimed to have washer/dryer combos on sale.  Sunday I went to a nearby home center.  A very knowledgeable sales person showed me several different brands that were on sale.  He told me the pros and cons of each and I picked one. He checked his inventory and found he had one and would give me a discount on top of the sales price and could deliver tomorrow, Monday!  It was a deal.  I asked him why he didn’t try to sell me an extended warranty.  He said I didn’t need it.  Talk about honesty! The next day, Monday, I get a call that my purchase will arrive and be installed between 4 and 8 p.m.   A truck arrived at 4:10 with two technicians.  I called them technicians because these two really knew what they are doing and were very fast.  They removed the old machine (on the second floor) brought in the new one, installed it, tested it and were gone by 4:35.  All that in 25 minutes!

What more can you ask?  America at its best. 

George R. Peterson

Goochland

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