Achievement gap concerns us all

In his Feb. 9 letter to the editor, “Taboo issues must be talked about,” Jim Weigand thoughtfully provides our society with a simple and nifty solution to the problem of the disparity between African American students’ standardized educational test scores and those of other social groups.

Weigand’s careful analysis of this problem can only thinly disguise what is really on his mind, but his theory, if it can be taken seriously at all, does deserve a brief response.

It would be nice to be able to solve all problems in our society as complicated as cultural differences and educational achievement as easily as Weigand wishes to do. Asserting that more rigorous student study habits and a paternal presence at home will solve the problem is hugely, and sadly, reductionistic.

Worse yet, Weigand reveals his more apparent objective in writing when he rails at Lynchburg City Council’s “social justice warriors” and insists that “only the black community” can solve this educational problem. That assertion, as they say, speaks for itself.

No, sir, the proper education of our young people is everyone’s business, though one would never know that in American society these days. The common “weal” requires that all of us care about and work to take the matter of schooling in our culture far more enthusiastically than we often do. It is not a “black problem.” It is a human and communal one.

PHILIP GARMEY

Lynchburg

Columnist ‘libeled’ president

I have another award for “prize-winning author” Andy Schmookler, one for spreading even more misinformation in his Feb. 9 column, “Drawn to the ways of the dictator,” than CNN.

To compare President Trump to a dictator is more than absurd, it’s outright libel. He writes “a dictator is someone who is not accountable to anyone.” How about the Democratic Party, the ACLU, unions, the entire mainstream media, the “deep state, Planned Parenthood, Hollywood and even Mitt Romney. All of whom have been firing a daily barrage of personal and legal attacks against him and his entire family since the beginning of his candidacy.

A dictatorship is a form of government in which power is concentrated in a person or small centralized clique. President Trump has increased the power of the individual through higher wages, lower taxes and government deregulation. Under his leadership, earnings are growing 3 percent per year, food stamp participation is at a 10-year low, unemployment is at an all-time low, we are an energy independent nation, vets are better cared for and needed criminal justice reforms have been made.

And frankly, no dictator in his right mind would be in favor of the “right to keep and bear arms,” school choice or the rights of unborn or just born babies. Just ask Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

JO ANN STOVER

Lynchburg

Two good Samaritans

Last week, coming home from a doctor’s visit, my car began to shake. After pulling over, I found my left rear tire was flat. I had a spare, but no jack or lug wrench — I do now. A truck pulled up. Two men got out, a father and son. Within minutes, I was good to go. Their charge? Two hand shakes. The father told me his son had just finished Parris Island. Two good Marines.

LARRY CASSADY

Lynchburg

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