Thursday, July 14, 2016 12:16 am
Letters to the Editor 7/14/16
IN GOOD COMPANY
There is a correction that needs to be made to your letter on roundabouts with an accompanying photo (“Letters,” July 7). The roundabout at 12th and Capitol is not the first or only roundabout in Springfield. That honor goes to the roundabout in Park South, east of Black and Company.
I am strongly in favor of roundabouts where they can be constructed in accordance with policy and best practice. The State of Illinois does have a few roundabouts on the road system but lags behind some states in this type of intersection. A third roundabout was designed for the intersection of Iles and West White Oaks Drive as a part of a proposed project to add a middle lane to Iles between Veterans Parkway and west of West White Oaks Drive, but the administration at the time was too timid to try something new. That joint project with IDOT has never received funding, to my knowledge.
The roundabout at 12th and Capitol was placed partly to delineate the difference between the business section to the west and the residential section to the east, but it also allows traffic to keep flowing at a relatively slow rate. Besides being safer by decreasing rear-end accidents and eliminating high-speed right-angle accidents, roundabouts keep traffic moving by merging operations and generally keep speeds at a safe level.
As I said before, I am in favor of roundabouts where they can be accommodated and fit in the traffic systems.
Tyre W. Rees
I write this following a recent meeting of the Springfield Coalition on Dismantling Racism (SCoDR), all the while trying to grasp the enormity of human tragedy linked to racism in America, as represented by recent events of violence. SCoDR stands solidly on the side of those who suffer acts of indecency and violence stemming from racism in multiple communities across America. The work of SCoDR includes training individuals and organizations in our community about the origin and continuation of systemic and institutional racism in America today.
As a nation, we have struggled with our efforts to understand the impact of systemic and institutional racism, coupled with our lack of effort and inability to eradicate its existence. We could start with recognizing that “racism” is our enemy, not each other. Racism harms us all and has the potential to disrupt and even destroy society.
We need to recognize that there is a long history of institutional and systemic racism in America, dating back to the 17th century during the period of colonization when laws were established to create the supremacy of “white people.” The process of maintaining this supremacy of “whiteness” has carried forward across the succeeding centuries, and is the baseline characteristic of institutional and systemic racism as we know it and experience it in America today.
The recent racially rooted violence in America – in Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Texas, Minnesota and Louisiana – summons our grief and sharpens our sense of “mission.” Unless we excise the “cancer” of racism in America, it will continue to destroy and demean our lives. It will continue to divide and debilitate our nation. It will make us feel less safe.
It will desensitize all of us. So what can we do? We can continue our efforts to assist the citizens of Springfield to understand the history and continuation of systemic and institutional racism through participation in workshops conducted by SCoDR, the Springfield Coalition on Dismantling Racism.
This training, led by trainers from Crossroads Anti-Racism Organizing and Training, was initiated in Springfield more than 12 years ago by the Springfield Dominican Sisters. SCoDR was formed five years ago as a regional organizing partner for the national Crossroads organization, and sponsors several training events in Springfield each year.
The next Crossroads training event in Springfield is scheduled for December 1-3, 2016. For further information about Understanding and Analyzing Systemic Racism as well as the content of this letter, contact Kenley Wade, co-chair of SCoDR at firstname.lastname@example.org.