To The Editor,
As a black citizen of Surry County, I wanted to respond and express my own views to what has been in the Mount Airy News and Winston-Salem Journal recently. I have lived in Mount Airy for the past 13 years and I have seen the racism in this county, well before I started living here. I grew up in the era in which I could not go into a restaurant to eat or go to a movie unless I had to sit in the balcony.
Why or how Mayor Rowe can say he judges a person by the “content of their character,” but in the same breath say “you would not hire that same person” because of their clothes. you have just judged a person because of the way they look, not by the content of their character.
Mayor Rowe, how do you know what the content of this person’s character is, if you don’t give this person a chance? How do you know this person may be the next Dr. Martin L. King or the next president of the USA? When will people stop judging people by the color of their skin and the way they look? Whether it’s baggy pants or a hairstyle, what has that got to do with their ability to perform a job?
Is this the reason why there are only a handful of people of color in the city/county government employment or retail stores in Surry County? Mayor Rowe, have you even considered hiring a young black man to work in your construction company? Maybe if they were given a chance and training, they too would be hard workers.
As far as what Mrs. Therese Tucker thinks and said about “Black people stop thinking they’re owed something,” No! We do not think we are owed anything except equal opportunities and equal education. If black people were credited for the contributions that we have made to America, instead of being demonized we can all start healing our nation. Black, red, yellow, brown and white tax dollars are what makes America work, and it’s not for a select few to benefit from these dollars.
If the city of Mount Airy would stop spending $400,000 plus on a greenway that only a small amount of citizens will use or benefit from; only certain businessmen in Mount Airy will benefit from this project. The city government says it needs to raise taxes on property owners, but then spend this amount of money on a greenway!
The city wants the minority money, but do not want our input on where the money should be spent. Where is the equality in the representation for all citizens of Surry County, not just white people? Something is wrong with this picture.
How about paying our teachers, helping our children, helping the homeless and senior citizens of Surry County? The government is about helping and improving the citizens, not a few rich businessmen and women in the city/county. People only want to make a decent living wage, the ability to take care of their families and themselves. Minimum wage ($7.25/hr.) is not a living salary; our representatives should be working toward bringing in decent paying jobs to this area, instead of building another useless monument or greenway.
Yes, it’s time that Mount Airy open its eyes and start a real conversation about racism and the economy.
We have tried to be a part of this community; however, Mayor Rowe, we do not “self-segregate.” We have shown up to participate in community events, we have had people look at us like “what are they doing here?” No, Mayor, we do not “self-segregate” we just don’t get that welcoming or unity feeling.
How about everywhere we go, we have to look at confederate flags and the Klan marches, this is not welcoming to “people of color.” These symbols were used throughout history to oppress African-American people and other minorities. That’s one of the reasons why you don’t see any more of us than you do.
Mayor Rowe you said you wanted the Johnson Amendment repealed, then the law must be repealed; separation from church and state. I feel we all have common sense to vote for whoever we choose. Our pastors, minsters, etc., don’t need to tell us how to vote! I hope none of us will have to defend Trump anymore; however, as far as what we have seen, so far, you probably will. Maybe it’s time you dusted off your Bible and read it again.
Finally, some of the Mount Airy News reporters are bias in their reporting style and Ms. Sara reported what she saw and what was given to her. I feel people need to search their hearts and start a real, open and honest conversation for all of the citizens of Mount Airy and Surry County. We as citizens of Surry County and North Carolina have to pay attention to and listen to each other. Each person is a child of God!