July 16 Letters to the Editor
The middle is the majority
I can say you hate me because I’m black, white, brown, or yellow, because it’s more PC (sounds better) than saying you hate me because I steal from others or because I beat up others weaker than me or because I’ve made bad choices (not my fault of course) that have put me in jail.
You do not owe me anything. Nor do I feel I owe you anything. We are all in this life together and we should try to make something of it … together.
Our world is becoming more and more a world of haves and have nots. I know I’m feeling like a have not when I start thinking of stealing from the people I see as haves but I know that would not place me any higher up the ladder. It would only justify the haves knocking me back down even lower than I was.
This COVID-19 which could bring us together seems to be driving us further apart. Things seemed nice at first with everyone being thoughtful of others (and some people still are) but the pendulum has swung and the result are riots and hate crimes.
It seems as if the top 1% and the bottom 1% of the population is ruling 98% of the population. Or the top 2%, bottom 2% is ruling 96% of the population. Whatever figures you use, the middle is the majority but the powers that be figure we’ll never band together to demand our rights.
Is there another civil war in our future?
Divided nation, common enemy
Three months ago, we and the European Union were in the same shape with respect to COVID-19; it was surging in the EU as it was in places in the U.S. Fast forward to today and we are in two different places. The EU, with a population of 446 million, is reporting less than 5,000 new cases per day. We have a population of 328 million and we are reporting more than 50,000 new cases per day. Because the EU was able to flatten the curve and bring the number of new cases down they are having success in re-opening, some of their schools are in session and they are opening to tourism. The EU has/had competent national leadership and a commitment by their population to do what is required, which is why they are doing so much better than us in handling COVID-19.
After all the sacrifices millions of Americans have made to date COVID-19 is still not under control and is surging in many states. We still lack the needed testing capacity and with a surging virus contact tracing in many states can’t be done. Hospitals are being overrun again with cases and we are reaching new case highs on a daily basis. The wearing of face masks and social distancing are the only tools in the tool box until we get a vaccine but many Americans (because of a lack of leadership from the WH) are resisting doing this.
None of what Trump is doing is for the good of the country, it is for him. Trump’s only plan with respect to COVID-19 is for it not to interfere with his re-election. Trump’s action of delaying acting on COVID-19 was because he didn’t want to spook the stock market. Trump pushed for states to re-open before they had flattened the curve because he didn’t like the unemployment numbers and now Trump is pushing to re-open schools, without a safe plan in place, in an effort to improve the economy by November’s election. The irony is had Trump provided the leadership we saw in the EU, we would be on a different path. We would have flattened the curve, we would have success in re-opening our economy and the likelihood of schools re-opening in the fall would have been good.
This is where we find ourselves today, a divided nation with a president that tries to divide us more and more each day instead of trying to unite us in our effort to fight a common enemy, COVID-19. We need to get our economy moving again, we need to re-open our schools for the good of the students, but we need a plan not wishful thinking to do it safely with a minimum number of lives lost.
Truths and challenges
Peter Engle does it again, on July 7, hitting a home run, rounding the bases, and winning with respect.
I stand with you, Mr. Engle, in support and raising my voice to give accolades to the USA and the flag that represents her, kneeling only to the God of my understanding, the creator of this beautiful universe and country.
I confess that I respect the merchants and businesses in Gardnerville, Minden and Carson City. I respect the men and women in the sheriff’s and fire departments knowing that they will respond to a 911 call should I make one. I respect this publication that prints all views from the local churches.
I respected my paternal grandparents who immigrated from Czechoslovakia, my maternal grandparents who immigrated from Russia. They are people of history now; people who wanted to come to the USA; people who helped to build our country. I will not mar their memory, achievements, or personal failures.
Mr. Engle, I respect the truths and challenges you pronounce to your fellow Americans.
Seeking justice rather than revenge
My thanks to Mr. Engles for his recent letter on respect, as it inspired me to contemplate the issue. He also addressed the issue of police brutality in terms of “bad behavior” and I agree that bad actors exist in all groups of human beings, but I understand the police mistreatment issue in terms of systemic racism. I believe that the Black Lives Matter movement is the result of years of lack of respect of people of color.
Respect is taught to children by their parents, teachers and role models. In high school, I had a teacher, Mr. Jarrett, whom all students seemed to respect. Upon reflecting about this wonderful role model, I came to realize that students respected him because he respected us and demonstrated that by treating us as thinking young adults. Respect is taught by example.
The American people and our government institutions have historically lacked respect for people of color. When Europeans occupied this land, they considered Native Peoples “savages” and set about a policy of extermination. When Africans were brought to this young country, they were considered subhuman and sold into slavery. This lack of respect and maltreatment led to institutionalized racism, which continues to this day.
Racism is pervasive in our country and people of color continue to be treated differently by law enforcement, the courts, banks, schools and other institutions. They are discriminated against in housing availability, hiring practices, and a lower pay scale than whites. Black people in particular have been denied the usual ladder to economic security by being refused home loans, shut out of living where they want, and by CCRs in housing developments. This treatment has resulted in life-long poverty for millions.
The Black Lives Matter movement is the result of the lack of respect that Black men and women have endured for 400 years. I ask that you try to imagine what it is like to endure 400 years of subjugation, distrust and mistreatment. Why is it that white parents never have to have “the talk” with their children, as Black parents do? Because their children will not have to fear law enforcement unless they have actually committed a crime and they are not likely to be killed for just walking down the street “looking suspicious.” Our country has failed at modeling respect and we are lucky that our long-mistreated citizens are seeking justice rather than revenge.