Calling out racism
8/2/2019, 6 a.m. | Updated on 8/2/2019, 11:49 a.m.
Re Editorial “Protecting the real America,” Free Press July 18-20 edition:
I first visited Richmond in the spring of 1979. I came from Charlottesville for the day with some friends from school, one of whom was from Richmond.
We spent most of our time at his house, enjoying a break. It was a pleasant visit. We ended up sitting around the dinner table talking with my friend’s mother. She was very engaging and gracious, but then she turned the talk to politics in Richmond — or actually race and politics in Richmond. I got a quick lesson about just how deeply the two could be intermingled.
My friend’s mother talked derisively about the Richmond City Council, which, at that point, had changed over to a majority-black membership with Henry L. Marsh III as mayor. She thought that the city was going down the toilet under black leadership. She had a solution for it all, as she de- clared, to the effect, “We should send the blacks back to Africa where they came from.”
It was one of those mo- ments. I didn’t know what to say at the time. But it’s something you remember.
And when you hear that language used again, all these years later, you know that you have to call it out and call it what it is: Racism.
It’s racism and it’s striking at the heart of our country.
In the upcoming days of the election campaign, we will no doubt hear more of the “Send them back” chants. What better way to respond than to stand together and speak together by voting against racism in all of its ugly and loathsome forms.
MIKE SARAHAN Richmond
I would call such a person a hypocrite!
Why would the leaders of the state Democratic Party, the party of the people, even consider attending a meeting with the leader of a party that thrives on fear, separation and the destruction of the religious values that have made the United States the moral compass of the whole world?
The leadership of both the state Senate and House Democratic
caucuses are to be congratulated on their decision not to attend the 400th anniversary celebration of the first meeting of the state’s legislative body in Jamestown since the president was scheduled to be there. They are the keepers of the moral compass.
ERIC W. JOHNSON