Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Oct. 17 letters to the editor

Gov.’s sexist remarks can’t go unchallenged

The members of the Morgantown Chapter of the National Organization for Women are dismayed at Gov. Jim Justice’s disrespectful comments made on Thursday, Oct. 7, about Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin.

He responded dismissively to a formal request she had made to the governor and Legislature for state level actions that could help address issues of homelessness, mental health and substance use disorder in West Virginia communities, such as the establishment of mental health courts.

Instead of responding to the issues Mayor Goodwin raised, he ranted about Goodwin’s character and leadership, belittling her both as the mayor of the capital city, as an individual and, most denigrating, as a woman, calling her “baby” in the most condescending tone he could muster. He accused her of having ulterior motives in sending the letter, completely deflecting from the critical issues and needs she identified.

The governor’s attitude towards the mayor is emblematic of the misogyny underlying attacks on the agency of women to control reproductive and other fundamental decisions about their lives playing out in various states around the country. We sincerely hope this is not indicative of our governor having a general disregard for all women.

We appreciate the legislators who have reached out to Mayor Goodwin in response to her letter as well as her professionalism and leadership. She wants to focus on the issues rather than on the governor’s hateful remarks; however, as an organization whose mission is to achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political and economic life, we cannot ignore the governor’s sexist and misogynistic remarks and allow them to go unchallenged.

Amanda Ray

Don’t judge the past by the present’s standards

I found the guest essay by Max Flomen on Christopher Columbus (DP-10-10-21) to be educational and informative. The problem is that it looks at life in the 1400s through the eyes of today.

The world was a brutal place at that time. It has been common throughout history for groups of people to go on murderous rampages to take territory and wealth from others. This behavior is confirmed in the column by showing the aggression of Ottomans’ efforts to take Europe.

 The indigenous people of North America were not innocent of this behavior. Prominent theories suggest these people migrated across the Bering Strait on a land or ice bridge before the rise of the oceans at the end of the last ice age. They tortured and killed others over territory, practiced human sacrifice and took members of other tribes as slaves.

The point is not to defend the behavior of anyone. I just don’t think it’s relevant to observe human behavior of the 1400s through today’s eyes.

I also don’t think it’s fair to condemn behavior of Europeans of the era while giving a pass to indigenous people (the discovery of mounds of sculls from human sacrifice) and casually mentioning the Ottomans taking Europe.

Though Columbus didn’t land on North America proper, he encouraged others, including Amerigo Vespucci to risk life and limb to sail west across the Atlantic. This led to the development of a nation responsible for many of the greatest advances in science, medicine and technology the world has ever seen.

If Amerigo Vespucci was the first European to reach North America, does this mean he’s responsible for the defeat and subsequent mistreatment of indigenous people? If so, should we change the names of North, Central and South America?

Patrick Nabors

HRC shouldn’t get to decide to change holiday

Wake up, Morgantown! Woke is at our doorstep. The Dominion Post front page headline Sunday, Oct. 3, read: “Commission to ask Council to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.”

Morgantown Human Rights Commission member Bonnie Brown states, “It’s part of a mosaic. It’s part of an overall contribution of greater awareness, greater respect, greater social justice, ending racism, helping people reconcile within themselves ….”

Sounds to me like this last statement is right out of the “Woke Play Book” and anything that they believe in is what everyone should also believe.

Asked if the commission anticipated any pushback from the sizable Italian American population in the area, Brown said some Italian communities elsewhere have asked for the change. The article points out that Harpers Ferry is the only city in West Virginia to change from Columbus Day so far.

How about letting the good people of Morgantown decide what we want? Not what the Human Rights Commissions thinks is best for us. I, for one, am tired of someone trying to tell us what they think is best for all of us.

I am a business owner in Morgantown and a life-long resident. I believe in freedom of choice and all of the rights that a democratic society affords us. If we allow the Human Rights Commission to push their agenda, what else will they want to change next? The teachings in our schools? How we raise our children? What pronouns to use? How to run our police department? Completely rewrite our history?

 I do agree with the Human Rights Commission on one thing. History is to be learned from, but that doesn’t mean we have to completely rewrite it. Please, with all due respect, call or get in touch with your council person and attend the Morgantown City Council’s committee of the whole meeting on Oct. 26 and let the majority voice be heard!

James W. Buchanan