Letter: Dennis Shea, Leesburg

Editor: I would like to address a couple of letters published this week.  Both letters were based on race and racism.  One by Johanna Gusman, and the other by Patti Maslinoff.

In Patti’s case, she denounces John Beatty’s statement of “… It was worse for African Americans after reconstruction because they did not have the patronage of the master.”  Now, I conclude with Ms. Maslinoff that the word patronage is probably mis-used. What I believe the message was meant to be that slaves certainly had it more difficult during reconstruction. This was obviously through no fault of their own. They had no concept of money, purchasing, bargaining, and no self-worth. They were never taught any of that, nor were they taught to read and write.  They basically only had their personal will to survive. I also agree that they were probably much better off, as they were finally free to make their own way, and be people as opposed to property. My concern with today’s news is that too often when there are two or more possible meanings to statements, that we always take the one that is the most severe. Did anyone ask Mr. Beatty what exactly he meant by the statement?  If so, I stand corrected.

Next on to Ms. Guzman’s letter.  She states at the end of it “… all lives can’t matter until black lives matter.” I believe that this is about the most racist phrase one can utter. Are black lives more important than Hispanic (brown) Asian (yellow)and Native American’s?  I was under the impression that our goal in America was to be color blind.  I believe color should be only used as an adjective, and not a title.  As long as we keep differentiating this, the longer it will continue to be an issue.  She also states that Loudoun County was one of the last to abolish segregation. This may be true, but that was 52 years ago.  Since then there has been the project Head Start, as well as the forming of the EEOC and several minority business opportunities throughout the government and private sectors. 

There is racism in this country, as well as every other country on earth.It is wrong and cruel, but it does exist as every person is entitled to their own opinion. I don’t agree with it as I also don’t believe in burning the American Flag. But I must respect their right to do so. It is because this is America, and we have the right to free speech and to dissent. Again, there is racism in this country, but the overused term of “systemic racism” is a lie. We have elected a black president (twice) we have black (and other minorities) in the Senate, Congress, Supreme Court.We have minority doctors, lawyers, professors, as well as CEO’s in industry.We have one of the highest rates of mixed race marriages on Earth.And, yes, we even have police officers of color. Systemic racism?I believe not.

Please take a moment to digest what you’ve just read, and then re-read it trying to do so with an open mind, and not one filled with hate and distrust.

Dennis Shea, Leesburg

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