I agree with [a previous] letter writer that Charles Boothe’s column was a superb, impassioned commentary depicting the early days of integration and the racism associated with it. We could all learn something from his well-written words.
Both columns by Larry Hypes explaining the history surrounding Hubert Humphrey, and the protests, rioting and violence of 1968 were very educational and well-researched. His writing almost makes me wish I could return to school and take one of the classes he teaches — almost.
The letter written by [another writer] gave a knowledgeable observation of the sad closing of Bluefield Regional Medical Center. He obviously understands the situation more than most of us in the community. His letter reminded me of an essay competition at Bramwell High School shortly after the hospital was constructed.
[Another writer] instructed anyone interested to write an essay about the importance of the hospital to our community. I submitted my essay and received third place in my class. That’s how I share the story. But technically since there were only three submissions, my essay was in last place. It’s all about perspective, right? It is hard to fathom we may lose the hospital permanently after all of these years.
Mentioning previously submitted writing, I wrote a letter to this paper in 2017 supporting the peaceful protests conducted by NFL athletes regarding the social injustice of the murders of Blacks by police. Remember the kneeling protest began in 2016 when our president was Barack Obama. But attention was more focused on Colin Kaepernick and the NFL protesters when President Trump unleashed his anger on them.
President Trump spewed some very angry words about the NFL players that I will not bother repeating. Don’t forget the stunt where Vice President Mike Pence attended a Colts-49ers game only to leave when the protest began as the National Anthem started. Oddly, the protest wasn’t about murder, police brutality and profiling, or racism. It shifted to patriotism, love of our country, honoring our flag, and the “Star Spangled Banner.”
My letter wasn’t published. Somehow I was in third place again, just like my essay all those years ago. Actually, I wrote very critically and harshly about a front page story in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph by former reporter, Blake Stowers, and a letter to the editor, and it is understandable why my letter with such vitriol wasn’t printed. The article by Mr. Stowers seeking opinions from Mercer Mall patrons and the letter focused on discrediting Colin Kaepernick, ignored the reason for the protest Kaepernick initiated and instead encouraged patriotism and love of country and flag. It was as though social injustice didn’t exist, a very real and warranted issue and why protests are occurring in our country and around the world today.
Also understandable is why folks in 2017 felt the protests were an edict against patriotism. Most were prey to the ploy conducted by President Trump, a master at misdirection and controlling the dialogue. He is truly a top-rate reality TV star. That expertise won him the presidency.
I wrote another letter in late 2017 without the harsh criticism and I believe the paper published it. I penned about the NFL protests, “I personally prefer resolving a non-violent protest to reliving past violence.” That boat has sailed.
The editorial page of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph is an opportunity for folks to share personal experiences, political viewpoints, grievances and other issues. Recently we have been fortunate to read perceptive commentary.
Don V. Hylton