Systemic Racism is Real
I’m writing to express my displeasure that you published DeWitt Shank’s commentary, “Critical of Critical Race Theory,” in your last issue, creating a dangerous false equivalence. Systemic racism and other structural inequities are real, whether DeWitt Shank wants to see them or not. The commentary also featured several racist tropes, like the writer playing into the “model minority” myth about people of Asian descent, the writer alluding to the fact that racist systems couldn’t exist because they knew successful “minorities,” and the writer using language from the U.S. Constitution to say that our country couldn’t be racist, even though that document was created at a time when most Black people in North America were enslaved, and when U.S. government officials were still actively dispossessing indigenous peoples of their land. Systemic racism is real, and your paper shouldn’t give voice to anyone who says otherwise.
Peter Langella, Moretown
Thank You for the Memories
To Andrew Nemethy,
You may remember me as Tom Slayton’s sidekick at “Vermont Life” (now also sadly defunct). I much enjoyed your piece in The Bridge and, probably like many other readers, found myself remembering an earlier Montpelier.
As a perhaps even more ancient denizen, I was reminded of the city I first came to know as a Goddard student in the mid 1960s. As my memory has it, many of the downtown businesses sported faux-modern glass-and-aluminum facades, and there were a number that sported ‘For Lease’ signs, giving the city a slightly down-at-the-heels appearance. One blessing is that downtown is now much more attractive, with much more of the original architecture visible and indeed featured.
As visitors, not residents, from far off Plainfield, we Goddards would periodically come to Montpelier for various necessary errands, and often ended up at the Miss Montpelier Diner in a now vanished building next door to the Episcopal church. It was conveniently open late into the evenings and served a passable BLT.
Anyway, thanks for the memories.
Appreciate Mary Cole Mello’s Work
I was impressed and enlightened by Mary Mello’s article in The Bridge, “A Mission to Inspire.” I appreciate Mello’s writing, thoroughness in research, and commitment to fostering literacy among youths.
As a retired teacher I value the importance of this topic. Actually, I tutored adults with disabilities, which is also vital.
Stephen F. Cole, M.Ed.
Let’s Make an Irish Hill Monarch Garden
To the Berlin Conservation Commission and the Barre/Montpelier Community.
About a half mile above the new snowmobile bridge on Irish Hill is a field on the right side of the trail going up. The field extends approximately a quarter of a mile, ending where the trail takes a left-hand turn to go up to the tower.
I know zip about soil stability or Monarch needs other than that they lay their eggs exclusively on milkweed. But if that field of a quarter mile long and several hundred feet wide were overlaid with native milkweed, we may be able to create a magnificent Monarch habitat.
What do folks who are ecologically knowledgeable think of this idea?
Lee Dow, Berlin
Keep Your Windows Warm
Between Nov. 11 and 15, the Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee in partnership with the non-profit Window Dressers, will be holding a workshop at the Berlin Mall, where we will help community members build interior storm window inserts for their windows. Unlike store-bought window treatment kits, these custom-made inserts are removable, and can be reused for several years before the shrink wrap plastic needs to be replaced on their pine frames.
Internal window inserts can help residents improve the energy efficiency of their homes and save money. Because this project is a not-for-profit volunteer-run endeavor and residents who receive inserts help to actually build them at the workshop itself, the cost of inserts to residents is kept low. Grant funding from the New England Grassroots Environment Fund will also allow the project to offer further reduced rates to low-income members of the community.
If you would like to order inserts and take part in the workshop, please go to windowdressers.org and fill out the online form you will find there. If you do not need inserts but would be interested in helping others in the community by volunteering at the workshop, please go to the Window Dressers website and click on the ‘Community Builds’ tab for more details.
Donald de Voil, Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee member