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Letter: A necessary corrective

Letter: A necessary corrective


I’ve read the 1619 Project; also Jill Lepore’s "These Truths" and Timothy Snyder’s "On Tyranny." I’m convinced that the Black hole in what passes for American history — where slavery is non-existent or was a relationship between "master" and enslaved people, benign and beneficial to both parties, is grotesque and in dire need of a reality check.

The momentum built by the Black Lives Matter movement needs to continue unobstructed. Rep. Skyler Wheeler’s bill to ban the 1619 Project in schools is a travesty. In last week's article on the bill, Rep. Ras Smith of Waterloo gets it just right. "Fact: George Washington was a founding father; Fact: George Washington was a slave owner. That’s the complexity of America. How do we move further past these divisive times if we’re not even willing to acknowledge one truth, one fact?"

Not unlike the well-meant but poorly worded "defund the police” concept (reallocate some monies to mental health and other preventative entities), adding data from the 1619 Project to a whitewashed curriculum could help raise a generation knowledgeable of the facts of America’s founding and its long, pervasive and continuing disenfranchisement of Black Americans. When "We the People" grasp the facts, we can begin to rid ourselves of the disease of racism.

The folks that stormed the Capitol were steeped in the mythology of a white America, shining in smug exclusiveness, on some spot-lit hill. Hats off to native Iowan Nikole Hannah-Jones for a much-needed revisitation of our collective past — all of it.

Leslie Bell



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I see where Scott County’s leading snollygoster, Senator Roby Smith, has persuaded the Iowa Legislature to further restrict voting opportunities. His goal is to thwart Democrats and no-party registrants from voting. Next, I expect Smith will introduce legislation simply making it illegal for no-party and Democrats to vote.

The America I have known is fast disappearing. Changes are taking place with a stroke of a pen. The three branches of government once provided checks and balances to protect our freedoms. Elections used to be free. Now open discourse is ridiculed and censored. Now if you support the "wrong" party you can be blacklisted, threatened, lose your job.

Jill Fluker's (Feb. 27) letter to the editor was right on. Senator Roby Smith does not represent our district or me. I have written and called Roby Smith many times. Only once did I receive any reply. It was two weeks later and was a form email stating that he was too busy to answer.

No one can deny that fossil fuels have provided benefits for developed nations, giving us energy for industry and power to warm our homes. We’ve also found some positive uses for the plastics derived from oil, such as for health care. However, this industry has created massive pollution and has most often negatively impacted low-income communities of color. Oil companies have known about global warming since the 1960s, but they have promoted a media campaign that rivals Big Tobacco to deny these existential threats, and have lobbied members of Congress to put profits for the wealthy over the health of billions.

I live in New Boston, Ill. Occasionally, I travel to Aledo for groceries and medical supplies. When I travel that highway, I am amazed and thankful for the conditions of the roads.

Several years ago the Republican-controlled Congress passed a $1.7 trillion bill that cut taxes for mainly the very wealthy and multi-national corporations because they wanted to reward them. It was their solemn commitment to reduce their tax burden.

I continue to be absolutely dumbfounded by how disconnected this country has become. How critical one citizen thinks of another. How this much hatred could gather so much momentum.

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