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Letters: Systemic racist still infects our society; Don’t forget Century’s volleyball state champs; Lee, other Confederate generals were traitors l READER COMMENTARY

Systemic racist still infects our society

Rick Blatchford’s June 23 Opinion column is partly right. As a society, we have come a long way in addressing racism since the days of legalized slavery.

But the whole point of the Black Lives Matter movement is that we have not come far enough. Yes, we elected a Black president. But don’t forget how people (including the current president) tried to delegitimize his presidency. And look at the backlash. It could reasonably be argued that we now have a nationalist president because of the election of a Black president.

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Yes, we have Black celebrities, high-paid athletes, CEOs, successful Black people in all professions. But they are the exception rather than the rule. According to a 2014 Census study, 27% of Black Americans were living below the poverty line, compared to 11% of white Americans. Black neighborhoods are disproportionately poor, crime-ridden, and lacking in vital resources such as quality schools, health care and access to healthy foods. COVID-19 is hitting Black Americans three times harder than white people, mainly due to poorer health overall and lack of healthcare.

Black people are assumed to be criminals far more frequently than white people. There are numerous stories of Black people being followed around in stores by security personnel. Black people speak of having “The Talk” with their children about how to avoid trouble with police. Do white people feel a need to have that talk with their children?

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When I worked for a DC trade association some years ago, a young black woman came to work weeping. She said her husband’s boss was abusive, calling him “boy” and kicking him. But he didn’t want to complain for fear of losing his job. I suspect cases like that are far more frequent than we could possibly imagine. Instead of dismissing Black people’s concerns, we need to be listening.

Maybe you’re not racist. Maybe you don’t know anyone who is racist. But vast throngs of people in the United States are racist. Because of that, and because many of us are oblivious or indifferent to this problem, systemic racism still infests our society. We need to root it out and destroy it once and for all. We need to live up to our nation’s promise that “all men are created equal,” and that we all have a God-given right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

In the song “America the Beautiful,” we sing “God shed His grace on thee.” God can more freely shed His grace on us when we do the right thing. And one way we can do that is by finally conquering racism in all its forms.

Judy Hake

Union Bridge

Lee, other Confederate generals were traitors

Donald Trump’s ignorance of US history is appalling. For example, he has praised Confederate generals such as Robert E. Lee. So, let’s set the historical record straight. The definition of a traitor is “a person who has taken an oath to protect his country and then betrays that oath.”

Most of the Confederate officers had gradated from West Point and sworn to protect the United States of America “against all enemies foreign and domestic. These men, then, took up arms against the very country that had spent thousands of dollars training them in the art of war and did their best to destroy it. This is the very act of a traitor and Donald Trump would not now be president of the United States had they succeeded.

James G. Hirtle

Westminster

Don’t forget Century’s volleyball state champs

I read Pat Stoetzer’s opinion piece in the June 29th Times with interest. Carroll County has many amazing sports teams who went all the way to State championships this school year and he highlighted four of them. 

However, I was surprised to see he overlooked the amazing run the Century High School girls volleyball team had in winning the Class 2A Maryland state championship this past fall under the direction of coach Bryan Trumbo. The girls worked hard to achieve this goal and I want to give them a big shout-out for their perseverance, tenacity, and teamwork. It is a great memory for them in a school year when many were lost. Go Knights!

Mitch Everton

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Sykesville

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