A Look at Our History
In recent years, I’ve seen a proliferation of people who are ashamed of our history. They refer to both the U.S and Suffield as “white supremacist”, “racist”, “privileged”, and “unjust”. They seem to bear a sense of guilt and try to instill that guilt in others, including children. The people who are ashamed usually point to the fact that this country had slavery at its inception. Slavery was a worldwide institution at the time and not unique to the U.S. There was a brutal Civil War fought to end this practice in 1861-1865. This was a remarkable event considering, even today, there are approximately 40-50 million slaves in the world, primarily in Communist China and North Korea, India, Africa, and the Middle East.
People have nothing to feel guilty about with respect to our history. To the contrary, to the extent they embrace the traditional American culture and values about hard work, individualism, family, capitalism, responsibility and reason, they should be proud.
Since the country’s inception, Americans have been responsible for almost every significant advancement in technology, transportation, medicine, communications, science, and entertainment. These advancements have lifted living standards and transformed human existence from a painful, isolated, poverty-stricken and short experience. This applies to all people regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or economic status.
I’m thankful for the people who risked their lives by fleeing the tyranny of the Old World and contributing to the creation of this country. I think everyone else should be thankful too.
Another Take on the U.S.
In last month’s Observer, Mr. Stromoski claimed that the United States was “founded on institutional racism,” by “stealing land” from the American Indians, and by “the enslavement of Africans to build this country for and [to] enrich the enslavers.”
To the contrary, the United States was founded on the radical and exceptional proposition that “all men are created equal.” For at least the previous 1,500 years humanity was inherently unequal. There was the aristocracy and the rest of us, the rulers and the ruled. The idea that the people should decide who would govern them in a free election was unknown before the American Revolution. It was the principle of equality which gave men the right to vote, which ended slavery, and which gave women the right to vote. The United States is made up of people, and therefore by definition is not perfect. But from the beginning, people around the world who have faced persecution in their homeland for their religion, political beliefs, color, and sexual orientation have come to the United States. It is the principle of equality which is the foundation of our Bill of Rights, and it is that principle of equality which the United States was founded on.
Book Sale Concerns
I would like to express concerns regarding the Friends of KML book sale that I encountered this past Friday. As a patron of the library and Suffield taxpayer who has been going to the book sale for over 20 years, I have always looked forward to it, However, I have found that it has become an event that has had an increasing number of people treating it as a commercial activity. What once was a fun community event has evolved into a competition with people solely there as resellers of the books, DVDs etc. blocking access to other buyers as they sit in front of the tables of books with their scanners taking all of the current books as well any book that has resale value for their one dollar investments. Additionally, there are people who drop off boxes/bags in the line earlier in the day and then return before the opening ahead of people who have come and have been physically standing in line.
The volunteers do a wonderful job and are generous in donating their time but seem powerless to do anything about this growing problem.
I would like to make a suggestion for the future. Advertise ahead of time banning the use of scanners (with strict enforcement), as well as removal of boxes/bags from saving places if the person isn’t physically on-site. I think this would make it a better event for those true book lovers and especially for our community that supports the library with our taxes and patronage.