Letters to the Editor

Flores must understand harm of reducing aid to countries

As College Station deals with the news of the Coronavirus, it is of utmost importance that we voters must realize the following: With recent proposed budget cuts to the international affairs budget, how are we supposed to expect that this virus will not spread to other countries that are even less able to stop the problem?

The virus has spread to Tunisia, Vietnam and even other developed countries. Some voters may believe that this is just a another passing fad, however without U.S. aid and intervention, are we seriously supposed to believe that this will not be a problem?

I strongly urge U.S. Rep. Bill Flores -- a member of the budget committee -- to realize fully the consequences that decreasing aid to developing countries has. Are we supposed to stand idly by while the world suffers and potentially could harm our own nation?

BRETT McCRAW

College Station


A book that opens up the box of race problems in America

Scrolling through social media on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, you probably saw several instances of "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" posted by various people across various political spectrums. Support for Martin Luther King Jr. transcends ideological borders, and his quotes are inspiring and easy to swallow for the general public.

If you'd really like to open up the box of race problems in this country and peer inside the frightening innards, try reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It is a blistering reminder that the shadow of our slave-holding past extends far beyond segregationist days; it is with us today. A particularly important quote from the book reads:

"But my experience in this world has been that the people who believe themselves to be white are obsessed with the politics of personal exoneration. And the word racist, to them, conjures, if not a tobacco-spitting oaf, then something just as fantastic -- an orc, troll, or gorgon ... . This was the attempt to commit a shameful act while escaping all sanction, and I raise it to show you that there was no golden era when evildoers did their business and loudly proclaimed it as such."

Racism today -- arguably as always -- rarely appears in the kind of monstrous injustice of the past. The most insidious perpetrators are everywhere, across all parties. Even you, unwittingly, may be a subjugator.

For a look into what racism looks like in the shadows of our bones, and to feel the deep fear and pain we as a society have created, take a look at Between the World and Me. It isn't an optimistic take on our current state -- it is a terrifying reminder of how persistent the institution of slavery can be.

MICHAEL BLACK

College Station