Is Smithfield Times bigoted?

Published 5:21 pm Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

I fear that Critical Race Theory has now infected our very own local weekly newspaper. “CRT” is, of course, the poisonous idea that reviles one race of humans as oppressors and extols another as victims.

In last week’s Times, the author of the article on our wonderful Memorial Day event in Smithfield (“American Legion hosts Memorial Day ceremony”) felt compelled to gratuitously inform us that a motivational quotation, very appropriate to the ceremony in progress, and read by one of the speakers, was actually from the “first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.”

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What would be the reason for adding this historical footnote? A racist journalist? Inculcated CRT? Racial bigotry on the Times staff? Or maybe just complete insensitivity to the subject matter? I don’t know.

What I do know is that, earlier in the article, the writer reported that a certain Town Council member and a certain member of our Board of Supervisors were in attendance. As we all know, the first is the president of our local NAACP chapter and the second is the vice president. Why then did the journalist leave out this detail?

And for the historical record, the KKK has not been destructively active here in Isle of Wight County since the 1920s. Have we heard or seen anything about them around here in the last hundred years or so? No.

But the opposite is true for our local NAACP chapter. They have been very destructively active recently. Their complaints forced the Town of Smithfield to discontinue its well-attended “Olden Days” tourist event several years ago. And recently they demanded and got the relocation of our monument to local Confederate dead.

And even more recently, the NAACP local chapter president embarrassed herself and our county by proclaiming on regional news the completely unfounded allegations of racism in the infamous Windsor traffic stop. And we were all further chagrined when this local story was picked up and magnified by the national sensational media. She has still not apologized to us for publicly defaming her county.

So I would hope that our beloved Smithfield Times will do some serious introspecting (if that is really a word!) and try in the future to be more even handed reporting local events. Please avoid succumbing to the racist notions of CRT, the NAACP and the KKK too.


Albert P. Burckard Jr.