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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 8, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 06
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Call for Ralph Northam's resignation

As I read one media outlet after another I am once again reminded of the hypocrisy and denial America has of its past and present treatment of many of its citizens. America's history is one of slavery, genocide, Jim Crow, and countless other violations of human rights often sanctioned by religious beliefs. Sadly there are millions of Americans yet who are racist, anti gay, anti women's rights, etc. There is a President in office who has said and done things that were racist, etc. and yet has to apologize and change his attitude.

What Ralph Northam did as a young man was at a time when much of the South including the State of Virginia and many of its citizens had a negative view of persons of color. Since then he has changed and done much good in contrast with Donald Trump who has surrounded himself with people of questionable character and continues to have policies that are hurting minority groups including blacks.

As a young man I attended a segregated school in Louisiana. As an airman in the U.S. Air Force, while traveling in the South, I was using a urinal when I had an officer stand at my back and tell me I was not allowed to use a restroom for whites only. At a cafe on an interstate bus route while buying lunch sitting at its counter once my meal came I was told to take it outside as blacks were not allowed to eat inside. I refused and two police officer showed up and escorted me out. One wanted to take me to jail but the cooler head of the two allowed me to continue my journey. I have countless memories of human rights violations done against me and other members of minority groups. And the violations continue to this day. While working for the Federal Government it took a discrimination complaint and thousands of dollars to an attorney before I could get a well-deserved promotion.

On any day in this country one can experience or read about people with extreme racist, homophobia views, etc. To force the governor of Virginia to resign while ignoring and even promoting others in positions of power who continue to promote hatred and degrade others is unjust and tells me America will never change and is not the shining light on the hill. For FOX News to call for his resignation while protecting a President who has a well documented history of racist actions such as refusing to rent to persons of color or apologizing for his actions in regards to innocent blacks held in jail for a crime they did not commit is a crime in and of itself.

The media continues to ignore the really important events that have the biggest impact on people such as Donald Trump starting a new arms race which will cost trillions of dollars while he and others tell us there is no money for health care for all or free college education or even to ensure every American is paid a living wage.

Those in the media need to look at the media's past role in promoting slavery, bias against Native Americans, persecution of gays, Jim Crow, etc. This country as a whole has yet to fully compensate for the human right violations sanctioned by Federal, State, and local governments. The media needs to look at its continuing failure to look out for the interest and well-being of all Americans not just the billionaires who control the media.

George Whitaker
Bellevue, WA

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