How Winooski Suffers
[Re Feedback: "The Good Fighter Plane," July 17; "Sound and Fury," June 12]: Susan Manley's response to Anya Hunter states that Hunter's letter opposing the F-35s is a "classic example of NIMBY privilege." She goes on to own that we (white people) have a history of "siting things we don't like in poor black communities" and that "polluters and pollution are disproportionately located in communities of color." Her letter infers that it is now Burlington's turn to have something undesirable placed in its backyard.
I guess Manly did not take into consideration that one of the locations that will endure the worst of the F-35s' effects is Winooski, the most diverse city in the state of Vermont — and also one of the poorest. Once again, the practice of environmental racism is taking place, and it is in my backyard.
Unfortunately, and in spite of the efforts of many people who worked tirelessly to oppose this basing of the F-35s, history is repeating itself in a way that forces those folks who are most marginalized to bear the biggest cost. I am deeply disappointed in Sens. Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch, who supported this plan.
Targeting Native Americans
Preserving the Abenaki language, highlighted in the Cartoon Issue ["Proud Pictures," July 3], and the following week's story on the continuing harassment of migrant workers ["Plastic or Papers?" July 10] are closely related. Vermont's most vibrant Native American communities are on farms, where Native Americans born and raised in intact native communities continue to speak indigenous languages. We erroneously label migrants "Latino" or "Hispanic" when in many cases they speak Spanish as a second language, if at all, and have absolutely no Spanish ancestry. While there are millions of white Hispanics in Latin America, they are not the people crossing deserts for better lives. Almost every "Latin American" migrant is a Native American or descended from Native Americans.
So many indigenous people live in Latin America because, despite all the sins of Catholics in the New World, the Church never sought to exterminate Native Americans. The same cannot be said of Protestants in New England and in what became the U.S. The Abenaki were virtually exterminated, and survivors fled to the Saint Francis Mission in Québec, further enraging New England Protestants, who hated Catholics as much as they hated Native Americans. Afterward, the Abenaki were derisively called "Saint Francis Indians."
Trump's concentration camps — filled almost entirely with Native American Catholics — look like an effort to finish the job of ethnic cleansing. Trump's white, Protestant, evangelical base is happy to enable evil because, in their view, good works are unnecessary for salvation. However they justify it, it is impossible to imagine evangelicals putting white Protestant children in cages.
Not Graphic Enough
Just a request: I wish that if Seven Days were going to publish a diagram online, it would make the resolution high enough to be able to read what is in the diagram when enlarged on the computer [Off Message: "Burlington Residents React to Latest City Hall Park Redesign," August 14, 2017]. It is very frustrating to think that because I don't pick up a paper copy — and waste valuable resources — I lose out on the news. Thanks for listening. Your paper is a great resource, and I enjoy reading it.
Editor's note: The image in the online-only blog post referenced was a city-provided architectural plan. We have since updated that post with a link to greatstreetsbtv.com/city-hall-park, which has the latest City Hall Park plan for download.
The Gun Question
In "Stickin' to His Guns?" [June 26] reporter Paul Heintz stumbles across the answer to his question when he quotes Jeff Weaver on Sen. Bernie Sanders: "The principles that he's operating on have been consistent. The context has changed."
What are those principles, and how has the context changed? Bernie's principles are enduring and obvious: He wants U.S. citizens to enjoy the same rights and freedoms that citizens in first-world nations do.
How has the context changed? First, in 1970, the U.S. population was 203,000,000; today it is 329,000,000. As we know, increasing population density and gun regulation go hand in hand. Second, under Wayne LaPierre's command the National Rifle Association has become a full-blown terrorist organization, funded partly by Russia. The NRA today exists purely to trick hayseeds into buying military-grade weapons that no civilian should own, and they'll laugh all the way to the bank when the feds have to buy them back. That is what happened; that is the change in context.
Vermont is a special case when it comes to firearm ownership. It would be interesting to know how many eighth-generation Vermonters — those who still farm and are as skilled with Great-Grandma's scythe as they are with Great-Grandpa's shotgun and hunting rifle — ever bothered to join the National Redneck Association. My guess is that they would find it unnecessary.
So the answer is that Bernie cares deeply for all Vermonters and all Americans, even those too incurious to wonder what practices more advanced democracies employ to maintain peace, order and stability in their nations.
As Goes Newport...
Nice cartoon by Tim Newcomb [Newcomb: "Ariel Quiros Wants His Mega-Fraud Case Moved Out of State," July 17]. But it looks like Burlington will have its own "hole" downtown, thanks to Brookfield Asset Management/Don Sinex, and almost for the same reasons, too: lack of financing — Newport's from alleged fraud and Burlington's from hype and bluster. Wasn't Burlington's mayor once a developer himself? Good thing Burlington was smart enough to require a performance bond just in case this sort of thing happened so the property wouldn't just sit idle like Newport, right? Has anyone looked into this bond from the press or city council? There is a contingency plan, right, Mr. Mayor? Hello?