Forum, Sept. 14: Beware Subtle and Unexpected Racism

Thursday, September 13, 2018
Beware Subtle, Unexpected Racism

With great interest I read the article on the recent rally in White River Junction (“The Work Isn’t Done Yet: Labor Day Rally Encourages Vermonters to Push for Change,” Sept. 4). I found myself agreeing with Selectman Jameson Davis’ statement that “unity is needed in our society, now more than ever.” But he and I might have widely divergent views about how to achieve it.

I say this because of previous statements about how to achieve unity in Hartford. Terms such as “institutional racism,” “systemic racism,” and “white privilege” are polarizing, and that seems to be the intent of the committee that insisted on retaining them. Apparently they haven’t learned from the lesson of Olivia LaPierre that you can’t enlist people’s help while you attack them.

I was warned not to expect a “place at the table” because of my white ancestry, even though my ancestors came from Eastern Europe after 1900. Care should be taken not to create or exploit “white guilt” if we are truly to address the problems of our nation and society in a unified way.

Institutional and systemic racism is insidious and subtle and tends to rear its ugly head in unexpected ways and places. For example, look no further than the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in downtown White River Junction. Planned Parenthood was the outgrowth of the eugenics of Margaret Sanger, who was clearly racist and wanted to diminish the population of blacks in America. Perhaps not locally, but nationally, abortion disproportionately affects our black population.

Yes, there are widely divergent views as to what America needs, and no single party has all the answers. It’s time for those claiming to seek unity to put some skin, regardless of color, in the game.

William A. Wittik


The Episcopal Option

I read with interest Sean Keating’s letter regarding the problems facing the Catholic Church (“A Reckoning for the Catholic Church, Sept. 2). Regarding his suggestion that the Roman Catholic Church break with Rome and form an American Catholic Church, that doesn’t need to happen. The Episcopal Church and the Catholic Church are closely related and I am sure that disgruntled Romans would be warmly welcomed.

The Episcopal Church has apostolic succession. Its bishops can trace their “lineage” back to the apostles. The creeds are the same and there is little difference in the Mass or other sacraments of the church. What does differ is that the church is not governed by the pope. Church polity is handled by a General Convention, which meets every three years, and by an Executive Committee in the interim. The legislature consists of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies. Nothing happens until both agree on an issue. The General Convention votes on the presiding bishop. The current presiding bishop is the Most Rev. Michael Curry — yes, the same bishop who delivered the sermon at the latest royal wedding.

I am sure anyone upset with the current state of Roman affairs will be warmly welcomed at any Episcopal Church near them.

David Shuffleburg

Springfield, Vt.

Library Book Sale in Plainfield

For the past 39 years, the Friends of the Philip Read Memorial Library Book Sale has given donated books a new home and provided support for programs and services at the Philip Read Memorial Library.

We are extremely pleased to announce that the 40th book sale will take place tomorrow, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Plainfield Town Hall on Route 12A. Homemade baked goods and refreshments will be available.

We are encouraged by the support of new volunteers and the widespread community response affirming the value of the book sale in supporting the library. We have been collecting and sorting thousands of quality books for the past year and look forward to seeing book lovers and dealers at the sale. This year, we have an outstanding collection of art, history, cookbooks and popular fiction for buyers to choose from.

Questions on any aspect of the sale may be directed to me at nnorwalk39@comcast.net or 603-675-5494.

We look forward to seeing you at the sale.

Nancy Norwalk


The writer is the president of the Friends of the Philip Read Memorial Library.

Nike’s Stroke of Genius

The Nike swoosh just took on a new meaning. Once revered for speed and freedom of movement, it now symbolizes what it means to give up everything for something.

The Just Do It movement is just getting started and I’m proud to wear and support a company whose products stand the test of time and, quite frankly, look good on me. So here’s to the swoosh, and to the Valley News. They both inspire and promote a just do it attitude.

Rich Robinson