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Forum, Oct. 14: We Should Discuss Racism Every Day


Saturday, October 13, 2018
We Should Discuss Racism Every Day

The Valley News did the right thing by reporting on the vicious racist occurrence at The Fort @ Exit 18 restaurant in Lebanon (“Former Lebanon Cook: I Was a Target of Racism,” Oct. 2). An ignorant white person chose to insult in the worst way a co-worker, a person of color. This event led to the victim quitting his job (with good reason) and taking another job at a lower pay rate.

The perpetrator in this incident incurred no consequences for his disgusting behavior; however, the person who made the incident public was fired.

I have heard too many white people in recent times claim that there’s too much talk about racism. There isn’t enough talk about racism! In the whiter-than-white Upper Valley, we should discuss racism every day until we understand its history, its present realities and its impact on people of color in the Upper Valley and beyond.

For white people to understand racism, they cannot escape looking at their part in its origins and its continuation. White people can start by learning what it means to be white in a racialized society.

I hope the Valley News will continue to report on racism in our region.

Carolyn M. Bardos

Fairlee

Welch Will Remain on the Sidelines

U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., recently made a comment that, should the Democratic Party regain a majority in the House, he would resist an effort to impeach Judge Brett Kavanaugh. In making this statement he displayed his collegial approach to his work. Unfortunately, it was the wrong response.

At a time when his constituents are living with anxiety and anger in the midst of an intensely partisan political divide, Welch’s approach to policymaking will most likely be to keep a low profile while using his seniority to get more economic benefits for the state. While many Vermonters applaud these efforts as a pragmatic approach to his party’s minority status, Welch has consistently displayed his preference for staying below the radar. To policy wonks like myself, it looks like a character flaw.

The current consensus is that Democrats will regain control of the House in the midterms. Equally likely is that the Senate will remain in the hands of the Republican Party. Paired with its control of the White House, little progressive legislation will become law.

It leaves House Democrats with two important functions. First, to use congressional investigative power to examine and establish the host of misdeeds perpetrated since President Donald Trump assumed office. Investigating a possible impeachment indictment of both Trump and Kavanaugh is high on that list.

The second function is to set the table with the policy issues that will become the Democratic Party’s platform in 2020.

My guess is that Welch will remain on the sidelines, and therein lies the problem. The art of politics has changed. Demagoguery, fear mongering, lies and falsehoods litter the landscape. Can anyone who supports Welch believe that he will lead the charge needed to confront the despicable displays of political manipulation to which we the people have been subjected?

We don’t need Welch’s brand of liberal Democratic politics anymore. We need forceful, confrontational and dynamic political leaders. It is sad to say but, as hard as Welch has worked, he simply doesn’t measure up to the needs of the day.

David Russell

Perkinsville

Re-Elect Giuda in District 2

I am pleased to support District 2 state Sen. Bob Giuda and will enthusiastically cast my vote on Nov. 6 for his re-election.

Giuda understands the most important part of his job is to support and work on behalf of his constituents and he has done just that. Many of you know I am a tree farmer who supports and advocates for the third-largest industry in our state, the forest products industry, which generates $1.4 billion into our state’s economy and creates just under 8,000 jobs.

This industry is very important in District 2, which includes forest landowners, foresters, loggers, truckers, sawmills, firewood producers, chip plants and biomass (wood-to-energy) plants, along with all of the support businesses that are critical to the forest industry.

The House and Senate passed SB 365, known as the biomass bill, with overwhelming bipartisan support, but it was vetoed by the governor. This veto put 900 forestry jobs at risk and threatened the $254 million economic contribution of the state’s six independent biomass plants.

Giuda saw the devastation this veto would have had on his constituents and led the charge, along with Sen. Jeb Bradley and many other state senators, to override the governor’s veto by an overwhelming vote of 21-3. Giuda’s speech on the Senate floor just before the vote was articulate and convincing, and his support for his constituents was unwavering.

As a forest landowner I am pleased with his leadership and hard work. I hope you agree with me and cast your vote to re-elect Bob Giuda in District 2 on Nov. 6.

Tom Thomson

Orford

Important Election for Young People

The election in November has acquired heightened importance for a number of reasons, but several issues directly affect the youngest generation of possible voters — issues such as voter suppression, climate change, reproductive rights, affordable housing and job creation.

In the 2014 midterm elections, only 16 percent of eligible voters ages 18 to 29 turned out to vote. I encourage members of the “iGeneration” to make a special effort to become registered voters and to have their vote heard on Nov. 6, before it’s too late.

Many voters in this age group are away from home on college campuses or are involved in temporary employment out of state or in the military. These young voters still have time to submit an absentee ballot application to their city or town clerks. Information about absentee voting is available through their city or town clerk’s office, through the office of the secretary of state in their state, or at www.vote.org. Young people who can’t vote in person should apply for an absentee ballot, complete it and mail the completed form to their local clerk. Their future may depend upon their doing so.

Bill Secord

West Lebanon