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Letters to the editor for Jan. 17, 2021

Letters to the editor for Jan. 17, 2021

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Time is up

I am well aware many people will express their disgust with the anarchists and rioters in the coming days, many with Trump flags and MAGA hats and obviously no respect, who were involved in the violent attacks on the U.S. Capitol.

The blame certainly lies with these riotous people but just as much as with the narcissist egomaniac Donald Trump. Trump called upon his base to come to Washington and show their support for him, repeating again all of his lies on why he lost the election. He used his base for his own ends and poured gas on the emotions of the mob to attack the Capitol.

We all heard his speech saying he would march with them to Congress, another lie. While a riotous mob attacked, Donald Trump cowered in the White House refusing to take calls or hear from his advisors to call off this vicious attack. As Nero fiddled while Rome burned, Donald Trump preferred to cowardly watch while Congress and democracy were under assault.

So much for his concern for his base or elected officials and certainly not for the lives of our officers in blue. Donald’s time in office is like a sinking ship, going down fast and a lost cause. Thank you, Jesus.

BILL GRAHAM

Forest

Come back to reality

This country belongs to us all. Yes, this is our country and this is who we are now — dysfunctional. Nothing is new about all the bad behavior. There were some Americans who invaded the Michigan State Capitol with weapons and planned to kill their governor and wanted to kidnap the governor of Virginia. Recently, more Americans, claiming to be “law and order advocates,” acted with violence in D.C. They were patriots of Trumpism, who wanted to replace the American flag with a Trump flag during their invasion of the U.S. Capitol. This is us (some Americans) answering the call for “Trial by Combat,” given by Rudy Giuliani. This is some of us Americans responding to Donald Trump Jr.’s statement directed toward Congress, “We are coming for you.”

We are still a nation of illusions — responding to President Trump’s MAGA world — filled with delusions, not being able to separate lies from the truth, or to differentiate peaceful demonstrations from vandalism, rioting and violence. With the inauguration, Trumpism will not go away.

On TV news, I saw some of my neighbors (and maybe family) leaving Lynchburg on a bus for D.C. I see their Trump flags in their yards each day. Criminals should pay for crimes but I again pray for extreme Trumpism and that God will give them peace instead of anger. I hope God will change any bad behavior into decency.

Americans are better than this invasion of the Capitol. Americans are now a people of shame and embarrassment because of our president and his extreme followers that he encourages. For democracy’s sake — this must stop. Stop the craziness and come back to the real world — we miss you. Don’t enable this anymore.

WAYNE CRONE

Lynchburg

Betraying the democracy

Ben Cline and Bob Good, our two area congressmen, have betrayed the principles and processes that are at the very heart of America’s democracy. Even after yesterday’s [Jan. 6] mob assault on the U.S. Capitol, they sought to disrupt the confirmation of Joe Biden’s victory in November. And they did so for self-serving reasons, not because of some legitimate concern for the democratic process or the will of the electorate.

Trump made it clear for months before the election he would refuse to accept the outcome unless it named him the winner. With help from self-serving GOP enablers around the country, he sought to limit access to voting and to convince his woefully credulous followers that nothing but extreme fraud could produce a Biden win. Like so many Republicans in Congress, Cline and Good encouraged their own supporters to believe Trump’s endless stream of lies. Our representatives knew they were lies. But they continued to support the lunatic delusions of a narcissistic thug. [On Jan. 6], we saw what that behavior can lead to.

Despite the deeply cynical votes that both men cast last night, challenging the election’s legitimacy, Joe Biden’s win has been confirmed by Congress. But the damage has been done. We are left with millions who have been taught that they cannot—and should not—trust the electoral process that is essential to our democracy. In the assault on the Capitol, we saw crowds of rioters who have learned that if they don’t like the outcome of an election, they should overturn it by force.

Our representatives stood proudly with the mob, metaphorically speaking, when they chose to contest the election results last night. No one should forget this betrayal. No one who truly cares about America, our freedoms, and our democracy should ever vote for such people again.

RICHARD BURKE

Lynchburg

End this false narrative

I am writing in response to the Dec. 17 article in The News & Advance, “Lynchburg City School Board temporarily suspends in-person public comments, citing concern over COVID-19 spread.”

The disruption caused when members of the Conservative Parents of Lynchburg entered the board room during the Dec. 15th School Board Work Session demanding they be allowed to sit inside and watch the meeting because they opposed the LCS health and safety guidelines was absolutely unacceptable. Our community should not tolerate such disregard for the wellbeing of our volunteer public servants and blatant disrespect for our civic processes.

The rules were simple and the group, led by Mr. Andrew Glover, intentionally broke them. They had zero reason to be there, there wasn’t even public comment scheduled. They did not leave when the chair of board asked them to. They did not leave when police asked them to. They were not removed by police. They disrupted the meeting for more than 20 minutes and got away with it. If we let bullies do whatever they want without repercussions, we give them a sense of empowerment and lead them to believe their behavior is heroic. We must put an end to this false narrative.

Thankfully, our school administration building faired better than our nation’s Capitol did Jan. 6.

Make no mistake though, what we saw locally in that board room was the same brand of fake patriotism we saw in D.C. at the Capitol Building. During this unprecedented time and for the safety of our public servants, LPD riot control officers need to be on hand at future gatherings of the board.

We must let these people know Lynchburg will not tolerate the disrespect for civil process, civil servants, and government buildings that we saw unfold in D.C. this week.

JENNIFER STATON

Lynchburg

Step up and do better

We are writing in response to the Jan. 7th article, “More than 100 Lynchburg-area residents head to D.C. ...” It was published one day after an act that has been variously described as a riot, a rampage, an assault, an attack, a coup attempt, sedition and domestic terrorism. Yet, this article reads like a human-interest story.

One paragraph gives a brief nod to the fact the November election was not fraudulent. The rest of the article provides an uncritical platform for oft-repeated conspiracy theories and lies that inspired the aforementioned riot. It is not just lazy reporting, but completely tone-deaf and irresponsible.

As a news organization, you have a duty to report the truth and not simply parrot popular fictions. One sad truth is that these local citizens have been duped by a president who repeats lies until even he believes them. As long as news organizations refuse to do the work required to reveal and report actual facts, our country will remain divided and prone to violence and insurrection.

Since the assault on the Capitol, global headlines have registered shock, while also noting law enforcement’s preparation for and treatment of this mostly-white, right-wing mob was very different than that which met recent peaceful protests against police brutality. This mob’s success at executing its well-publicized plan was the ultimate act of white privilege. Even if our locals did not break any windows, they were there in support of those who did.

Your article gives them ample space to portray themselves as defending democracy. Thus, it not only amplifies lies, but also is a tip of the hat to racism in our community. With lies and racism tearing our country apart, we need you, The News & Advance, to step up and do better.

SHELLEY BLADES and STUART OVERBEY

Lynchburg

Remember these folks

More than 100 of my fellow Central Virginians traveled to D.C. on Jan. 6 at the invitation of the soon to be ex-President of the United States. I don’t know whether any of them joined the insurrectionist terrorist mob that stormed the Capitol building. But certain local folks, including supporters of failed Lynchburg City Council candidates, posted pictures on social media (later removed) expressing their giddy delight at the crowds waving their flags of sedition and delusion.

I’m beyond trying to understand these residents of an alternate universe — I don’t have the training in abnormal psychology that would be required. The Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew has Jesus telling the crowds to judge people by their fruits, by their actions. It doesn’t matter to me whether these folks actually believe the insane conspiracy theories they espouse, or whether they are simply cynical.

It doesn’t matter to me whether they are stupid or ignorant or evil or all three. I judge them by their actions, and by the consequences of their actions.

Remember these folks.

Remember who they are when they appear in public forums.

Remember who they are when like-minded folks seek positions of public trust.

Remember.

NEAL SUMERLIN

Lynchburg

Time for a follow up

I was disgusted and saddened to find a human interest piece about a mob of friendly, local seditionists [“More than 100 Lynchburg residents head to D.C. to protest certification of Biden’s win”] sandwiched between substantive stories of the harrowing afternoon [of Jan. 6] in the Capitol.

The legitimization and perpetuation of disinformation and conspiracy theories are the mechanisms by which Trump and his enablers incited bus loads of people to commit treasonous acts of terror.

It is inconceivable why The News & Advance would give a platform, and by extension legitimacy, to these same proven lies, especially after it became clear the “rally” was in fact a poorly-planned (thankfully) coup.

I at least hope the writer has a follow-up story planned in which we get to hear these neighborly nationalists scramble for excuses as to why the part of the insurrection they attended was patriotic, actually.

THOMAS BRENNAN

Lynchburg

Open letter to Gov. Northam

President Trump through Project Warp Speed promised a vaccine to the states before the election.

Because of bureaucratic obstacles, he missed by almost a week. This probably cost him the election.

You had notice, more than six months ago, that the vaccine was coming in November. It is now two months later and still our most at risk — our seniors — have not been vaccinated.

Your administration can’t decide which special interest to do first — government employees, health care workers, prisoners or LGBTQ.

Our seniors are dying by the hundreds each week and you are still sitting on 80% of the vaccine provided by the federal government.

Per the Richmond Times Dispatch on Jan. 4, 2021, it may expire unused.

Give the vaccine to CVS, Walmart and Walgreens. They have experience at flu shots and record keeping.

Start now for all those older than 80 and next week do those older than 70, then 60.

Get it done.

Stop waiting for Biden to be inaugurated.

JOHN W. BALLARD III

Amherst County

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