From Our Readers: Slavery study would be divisive, Corrections

Slavery study would be divisive

Your expectation that HR 40 has no chance is valid (Between the Lines: Congress Keeps Killing Conversation on Race” Feb. 18-24, 2016). The concern is that after the conclusion of the investigation there will be a louder call and greater expectation than what already exists for “reparations,” such as these I am hearing lately: Open admission to a free college education, housing subsidies so that African-Americans can live in better neighborhoods, and special accommodation for health care.

Such actions being carried out will widen the divide between the races. Let’s face it: You want to turn the table on Euro-Americans. Revenge, plain and simple, is what this is about.

I do not deny the fact and do deplore that racism exists. Been doing some fact and stat checking, regarding race and crime and punishment. Numbers clearly show the commission of white crime, violent /non-violent, is underreported. The media, despite its all-out reporting of racial incidences, has a lot of soul searching to do. It’s really a disservice to society. The criminal justice system is a mess, but violent crime, regardless of cause or by whom, is not acceptable. Even one of the more liberal Supreme Court justices, Sonia Sotomayor, has said as much. Yes, things have to change, but a program of reparation — which is a form of reverse discrimination and vengeful — would not be a peaceable and unifying approach. Also logistically, reparations are impractical. It would cost big bucks. You can’t undo the past, but you can undo the present. Move on.

The time for co-ops is here … again

I want to see cooperatives move forward and play a role in transforming our economic system (Great Co-ops are Made, Not Born, Jan. 28-Feb. 3, 2016). Cooperatives come in many forms: consumer, producer, worker, marketing, and hybrids of these. Central to all is local ownership. That’s the reason I made the movie Food For Change and have launched a national campaign to educate more people about cooperatives. Uncovering footage from the 1960-70s was one of the enjoyable parts of making the film. Through this, I was able to show the energetic idealism that the counterculture brought to food co-ops and also explore the internal conflicts and lack of business skills that led to their rapid decline following a period of expansion. About 600 of the 800 food co-ops that were started during this era went out of business. Political idealism took them only so far. My hope is that we can learn from the past — how to build resilient local economies and protect communities from absentee ownership by corporate monopolies.

Today’s challenges are similar. Food cooperatives need people with both ideals and practical skills, who can maintain profits, understand the hyper-competitive grocery business, and at the same time: abide by values of fairness in every aspect of their business, while strengthening local economies and leading in planetary stewardship. Cooperatives are a positive force for social and economic change. Changing the way food is produced and distributed will pave the way for change in other parts of our economy. The story of cooperation in America is one of fits and starts. I tell it in order to bring a deeper understanding, and a unity of purpose, to a movement whose time has come — once again.

Quick quip

Editor’s Note: This comment was left under “These Boots Were Made for Whippin’: Brattleboro’s newest theater company brings comedy, kink to Main Street”

Sounds exciting, Josh! (the new company as well as the current production). Maybe pass out masks for those in the audience who are shy!

Corrections: In the Feb. 18-24, 2016 issue, the story “It’s Not Enough to Recruit the ‘Black Bourgeoisie’: Cornel West has challenge for elite campuses,” a quote was misattributed. It was Smith College student Jocelyn Proietti who said, “Any elite institution, what … puts them on top of a hierarchy, is tied to this capitalist structure. And it is tied into histories of exclusion.”

In the Feb. 11-17, 2016 article “Not Your Grandpa’s Sex,” the price for Pornhub’s Twerking Butt was misquoted. Adam & Eve sell the sex toy for around $899.

Kristin Palpini

Author: Kristin Palpini

Editor of the Valley Advocate

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