Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Going back to the destruction of historical monuments — I am thinking that is in protest to the fact that American once tolerated slavery in a certain part of our country — the Deep South. It did not legally ‘exist’ in the rest of the country.
I don’t think a lot of people know that no woman, black or white, was able to vote (except in certain states) in our country before all men of whatever color were able to vote.
Women were ‘slaves’ in my view as they could not vote, they could not bring suit against anyone in court, that right was reserved for her male family members; she could not defend herself in court, she could not serve on a jury. She also had no right to her children, dowry or possessions if she chose to leave her husband. She could not sue — not even her husband for divorce. She could not: own property; take out a loan; claim custody of her children; seek legal protection from physical assault from her husband (think of that one for a minute!); have a legal identity apart from her husband, could not sign a contract, could not sue or be sued, could not represent herself in court or serve on a jury. So is or was this slavery? If it was slavery, and I think it was, then all women of every color were enslaved in this country before 1920.
My point is certainly not to belittle slavery but it existed in more ways than just one. And this legal slavery of women was true throughout our country. These are the unheard women of our past and they came from all over the world and from right here, they were Asian, Indian, European, East Indian, American, Africa- all women.
My point of is — because I do not approve of or support any form of slavery — instead of moaning and groaning over the slavery of the past — what about the slavery of right now and of the future? Children of all colors are enslaved all over the world, sometimes as sex slaves, including right here in the US according to what I read in the papers and other places. So are women of all colors — some of them right here, often coming from other countries. If you feel strongly about the slavery of the past I believe you should feel even more strongly about those who are enslaved right now. Something can be done about that — something more valuable and helpful than tearing down statues. Talk about jousting with windmills or bending your knees.
Please just think about it. Our country is basically a good country. We have been trying to improve ourselves since before my grandparents came to this country. We cannot change the past no matter What we do — it is gone, done with — in the past. But we can about today. I am not telling you what to do or asking you to do anything specific but just pointing out that not everything bad was done yesterday and if it was done yesterday, the only positive thing you can do is try to prevent it for today for yesterday is already gone.