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Forum, July 6: Talladega noose was a metaphor

Published: 7/5/2020 10:00:12 PM
Modified: 7/5/2020 10:00:11 PM
Talladega noose was a metaphor

The fact that the FBI determined that the noose found in the garage of NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace wasn’t directed at him does not bring as much comfort as one might think, though there is a sigh of relief. Of course, one must wonder why there was a noose in Talladega Superspeedway garage at all, but I leave that to others to ascertain.

What remains true is that we had good reason to assume that someone had put a noose in the garage Wallace was assigned, and that was not some sort of “jump to judgment.” It was a reasonable, contemporaneous thought, without much to discourage it. This was a reflection of what one must admit is the most probable truth, whether or not one feels that the Confederate flag is racist — and how one cannot is beyond me. I am a person who has deep roots in Richmond, Va.

I am glad that the noose was not deposited in Wallace’s garage overnight. However, I am surprised that is not exactly what happened.

The honor he was paid by his colleagues at Talladega was justified, no matter what. The noose serves as a metaphor for what we have already seen outside of NASCAR, and even in the skies above. I know that there were those who cheered the noose — no doubt more than pushed Wallace’s car to the front of the Talladega course.

I love my Southern heritage, but I understand the context. The Confederates were traitors and wanted to tear apart the country I love, and they wished to keep enslaving men, women and children.

We must cease honoring traitors. We do not live in the celluloid world of Gone With the Wind, as if that was ever a good idea.

Bubba Wallace remains a man of integrity. The sentiment expressed by his colleagues is no less valid or important now that we know the noose was not placed there the night before his race. We know that it has actually been there all the time.



Society is lawless with so many guns

It is ironic that the same people who support President Donald Trump’s law-and-order policies are the same ones who oppose gun control. How can we have order in a society when guns are rampant and easily available?

Think of the fewer police we would need if shootings, as in other civilized countries, were few and far between. Think of the lives that would be saved — Black, white, police and innocent Americans — if the Republicans would address this sinister problem. Think of the bobbies in England, who only rarely carry firearms. But Republicans love the National Rifle Association and the millions it donates to Trump and his cronies — dark money. As long as certain lawmakers reject gun control, we will have a lawless society.


New London

Down the shaft of incompetence

How much longer can we last as a nation governed by an utter fool and his sycophants? Each time it appears that the Trump crowd cannot possibly take us any deeper down the shaft of incompetence, corruption and cruelty we suddenly fall another couple of floors.

Here are just some of the tricks President Donald Trump has performed to cause our most recent plunges: In a matter of days, he held campaign events indoors in two COVID-19 hotspots with few masks and no social distancing (but with a waiver of coronavirus liability). These undoubtedly will result in more COVID-19 cases.

He further demonstrated his genius by pursuing yet another attempt to kill Obamacare. If successful, this will end health insurance coverage for tens of millions of our fellow citizens, and insurers will be allowed to revive the odious preexisting condition exclusion. This is remarkably cruel and stupid since this, too, could lead to further spreading of COVID-19. After all, without insurance, there’s little to zero ability to access health care.

He retweeted a video in which a supporter of his proudly and loudly shouted “white power.” I’m not surprised, but what audacity.

Our national pandemic response has been by any measure nothing but stunningly incompetent. You know things are really bad when for the first time ever Americans are no longer welcome to stumble around drunk through Europe while attempting to convert dollars to euros.

If that were not enough, while it is not clear at this point exactly what our man in Washington knew, the strident proclamations of innocence strongly suggest that something is seriously amiss with our commander in chief. It looks more and more likely that the president was told, perhaps as long as a year ago, that his good buddy, Russian President Vladimir Putin, had placed a bounty on our good men and women serving in Afghanistan. And yet the president did nothing?

Now that’s a “deep state.”



Kirk White right to represent us

In 2010 I got involved in the Bethel Business Association. Kirk White belonged to that group and was reaching out to businesses in Bethel to see what their needs were. When the association lost effectiveness, Kirk started the Bethel Revitalization Initiative, which I then joined. I have ever since helped in its projects, from Bethel University to “pop-up” shops.

Growing up in Bethel, White knows firsthand the changes small towns face and how to work collaboratively to find creative solutions to address them. He firmly believes that when we work creatively together we are better able to find common solutions.

I have worked in early childhood programs since 1978. I have seen quality child care centers have to close their doors. I have also experienced poor wages and no health benefits. I support Kirk White because he wants to expand access to affordable child care and early childhood education. I know he can employ creative solutions to the shrinking of our communities through workforce development and business incentives.

He is the right person to represent Bethel, Stockbridge, Rochester, and Pittsfield in the Vermont House.



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