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Letters, Feb. 10

Step down, Northam

Regarding transgressions against racial or gender equity: Should a politician with a record of reformed attitudes toward race whose past actions are counter to that reformation, i.e., the current governor of Virginia, resign, even when he’s established a progressive reputation since and admitted the fault? When he appears to be a better person than he once was, and has apologized, why not let him off the hook?

Because the issue is too important, its effects too dramatic, and the nation’s history on race too outrageous. True, American slavery ended with emancipation following 100 years of debate and a terrible Civil War. True, after another 100 years, during which the South was essentially run by the Ku Klux Klan, we finally got the Civil Rights Act of 1965. True, a lot of progress on broader access to the levers of governance and economic success for people of color has been made in the 50-some years since. Fine. We may be down to the final details, the short strokes, but rooting out the last seeds of evil may prove the most difficult and prolonged effort. It takes much longer to finally dry out a wash rag than to wring out most of the water. Racial injustice still sullies our national reputation. There must be no tolerance for it, or its effects. Ever. Step down, governor. Try again, later. Let a better informed future electorate decide your qualifications.

Gary R. Collins


Uproot Ashland

I appreciate anyone wanting to provide healthy food for their community. It is important to the health and wellbeing of all of us. However, why does the community have to be at risk of losing healthy water and air to provide healthy food? It seems to reason that applying for all licenses and following the rules and regulations for running that business, working with your neighbors to not cause harm, protecting the land, keeping water and air clean and providing healthy food would all go hand in hand. It does not appear to be the case with Uproot Ashland.

Kristi Phillips


Another impressive MSD PR spin

In the Mail Tribune’s Jan. 27 editorial, the paper praised the Medford School District for increasing its four-year graduation rate by 15 percent in five years. What it failed to note is that two years ago, MSD started using an easier diploma with fewer requirements and admitted on the KOBI 5 that 7 percent of its students got this easier diploma this past year, most of those from North Medford High School.

That’s like comparing apples to oranges with the previous administration. It looks to me like the graduation rate would have gone DOWN without that easier diploma. That’s not improving outcomes. It’s changing the goalpost. If, as you say, “(Superintendent Brian) Shumate has been a strong proponent of using student achievement data to drive district policy and improve outcomes,” then all I can say is the old saying is true: there are lies, d*** lies, and statistics. I wouldn’t say this falls into the statistics category.

Joey Franklin


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