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Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 12:18 am

Letters to the Editor 8/31/17

A view of the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee at Robert E. Lee Park in the Oak Lawn neighborhood of Dallas.



The United States of America has three forms of slavery: the original slaves of Africa, the black prisoners, and the sharecroppers, of which I am one. The U.S. Constitution is crafted to keep the black race as servants to the whites. To preserve their Confederate slave owners, whites have erected monuments and statues in their honor.

To fast forward, you ask, should the U.S. Confederate slave owners’ monuments and flags be taken down because they are an offense to the black race? In a word, yes. The black race should not have to look upon their monuments or endure the U.S. governmental slave Constitution that gives the white race the legal right to consider the black race three-fifths of a human being.

The slave owners’ school names, street names and currency pictures should also be replaced. Should George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson monuments be removed? In a word, yes. They were slave owners. Some sympathizers say the monuments should be placed in a museum or graveyard for people to view them as historical figures. This is an idea.

Finally, the U.S. Constitution, when changed to include the black skin race, will rid the country of white supremacy, racism, the KKK, the Jim Crow people and slave owners. Then and only then will this pain of slavery that included the hangings, beatings, rapes and branding enclosed in the Confederate monuments and flags cease to be.

Alyce Lyle


We, the members of the Springfield Coalition on Dismantling Racism (SCoDR), have watched events unfold over the last two weeks that have wounded, again, the soul of this country. Having witnessed the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, city officials in Springfield were spurred to take a stand against racism and discrimination.

While the recent resolution unanimously passed by the city council and signed by the mayor is laudable, sustained effort is required to change the imbedded nature of systemic racism. For seven years, SCoDR has provided training in dismantling racism within organizations and businesses and schools right here in Springfield as we’ve partnered with a national organization, Crossroads Anti-Racism Organizing and Training. This work doesn’t happen in a vacuum, nor is racism simply the result of discrimination by a few. Racism exists in systems and institutions and harms our whole community.

We’re fortunate that, in our community, SCoDR is not doing this work alone. We appreciate the groups in neighborhoods, in churches and in civic organizations who are addressing racism. We are grateful for the city’s recent resolution and we take this opportunity to acknowledge the historical relationship that has existed with the city since SCoDR’s formation in 2010. Finally, we are thankful for the city’s diversity council, established to support the city’s continued commitment to learning how we can do better.

For information on how to participate in the training to dismantle racism, contact SCoDR at kellymhurst@gmail.com.

Kenley Wade
Sr. Marcelline Koch
Springfield Coalition on Dismantling Racism


John Barber, thank you for not ever buying a rocking chair.

John Barber (“Stay in the fight,” Aug. 24, Cinda Klickna) is a smart guy. The fact that he had his pilot’s license before he was allowed to have a driver’s license is a reflection of how much he believes in himself, in spite of being dyslexic.

He is a hard worker. Characterized as being unselfish. There are hundreds of people in Sangamon County who have experienced good fortune because of John. These people will never know who to thank because of his reserved demeanor.

John’s biggest route to success is that he developed a sublime sense of trust. In turn, John offers himself to be trusted without reservation.

He is fighting wrenching battles with several maladies. He survived one several years ago which came within days of him almost meeting with the big guy.

He knows that he has to keep moving. To stay strong. That once he stops looking at the morning stars, he will quit dreaming.

John Barber is an authentic teacher. What people learn from John’s practices will be in effect for generations to come.

Mike Suhadolnik


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