Letter – Grange needs more thought

Published 5:06 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Postponing the Grange at 10Main vote was wise. It needs more consideration. There are larger, more important concerns. Much larger.

The young Mr. Luter has said that Smithfield Foods wants his development. Of course, he meant this as a threat: Deny my plan and you’ll upset our county’s major taxpayer. But we should take this as a warning. A dire one. Please consider.

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Sworn congressional testimony established that “Foods” is Chinese-owned and controlled. The Chinese Communist Party has vowed to overtake America as the world’s leading power in this century. Our governor has declared the so-called Peoples Republic of China (PRC) our “adversary.”

The U.S. Defense Department cites the People’s Liberation Army as our nation’s top military threat. The PRC is buying thousands of acres of land all across the United States, much of it near military bases just as we are. And this newspaper has recently reported that PRC’s “Foods,” according to a state report, owns over 2,000 acres right here in Isle of Wight County, mostly purchased through its subordinate real estate arm. And last week’s national news reported “Smithfield” as an example of PRC ownership of prominent companies here in America.

If our town’s proud name “Smithfield” is already now being used by nationwide media as an example of an enemy threat, what’s next?

Wouldn’t it be prudent for us not to accede to the wishes of “Foods” to build the Grange? 

One can only imagine a situation, for example, on the eve of World War II, if Imperial Japan or even the Nazi Party purchased property here in town. Good thing that didn’t happen! But the comparison with our current situation is striking. President Joe Biden has spoken openly and often about the possibility of war with China over Taiwan.

What will future historians say of the legacy of “The Ham Capital of the World”? That they blindly provided bacon to enemy military forces while compromising the security of our country? 

Mustn’t we reconsider this whole Grange at 10Main thing if, in fact, as its developers assert, it will comfort Smithfield Foods and therefore our nation’s chief adversary?


Albert P. Burckard Jr.