Letters: Racial bigotry pushes our community further away during this crisis
Crisis is no time for bigotry and hate
In this COVID-19 time of uncertainty, fear, isolation and physical distancing, a general spirit of pulling together as Utahns provides us a sense of hope, connection and security. In fact, Gov. Herbert has implored us to work together toward this mission. We are reminded that as we consider the health and wellbeing of others, we will beat the disastrous effects of this medical crisis. As U.S. citizens and Parkites, my children have attended school here and worked here. Unfortunately, our latest experiences during this COVID-19 crisis have been less than kind. My children were adopted from China as infants, now attending college in Salt Lake City. While in Smith’s grocery store recently, wearing our protective masks and maintaining 6-foot distancing, we came around the end of an aisle. A man picked up the collar of his jacket when spotting my daughter, frantically covering his face and backing even farther away. Other customers in the store did much the same thing after offering up looks of horror and disgust. Needless to say my younger daughter was in tears, and I was aghast at the reactions. We exited as quickly as possible. Two weeks prior to that, as my other daughter stood in the cashier’s line at Walmart, a woman turned to her and said, “People like you shouldn’t be allowed to be in this store.” After she and I processed this encounter, she understood that fear elicits many reactions, one of them being hate of whom or what they do not understand. The purpose of my letter is to bring awareness to our wonderful community that we will not overcome this biological warfare if we engage in bigotry or hate. As a matter of fact, whether the virus has come to the U.S. from Asia or Europe or Australia it is not the fault of any human being. It is a waste of our lives to find fault or to hate. We are all connected. We must work together with compassion, gratitude and understanding if we are to heal from this pandemic in our community, our country and the world.
Dr. Deb Cupal
Heroes are all around
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It’s not an overstatement to say that we live in trying times. But, we Americans have always been a people who rise to the occasion. This time is no different. In this period of uncertainty and fear it has been my privilege to witness the bravery and sacrifice of our fellow citizens. I’m speaking not only of the medical professionals who are facing COVID-19 on the front lines, but also the hospital cleaning staff that support them. Our peace officers and first responders who are not allowed to shelter at home, our grocery clerks who keep us fed, our postal service, UPS and Fedex drivers who keep commerce moving, our nonprofits that are making sure that the most vulnerable in our community don’t fall through the cracks. A wise person once wrote that “heroes are ordinary people who make themselves extraordinary.” I see heroes all around me these days. As a veteran I’m used to having people say “thank you for your service.” Now it’s my turn. On behalf of myself and my family I want to say thank you to all those heroes I see in our community every day. And, when this ends, and it will end, I can’t wait to celebrate with you at the biggest party this community has ever seen.
Census will shape the future
You may be wondering, in this time of extreme concern over our response to the coronavirus, why are we also prioritizing census response.
This web address (my2020census.gov) will take each Summit County household to a very important website for the fiscal and political future of Summit County. This is where each household can report their census data. This data will determine the size of federal programs serving Summit County and help determine the political representation the county has in future state legislatures and Congress. As of Sunday, Summit County was well behind the rest of the state in reporting census data.
Federal funding for the following programs are just a portion of the total funding effected by the results of the census: Medicaid, Medicare Part B, aging services, school feeding programs, Pell Grants, SNAP (food stamps), Head Start, substance abuse, fire management and WUI assistance, water source protection, transit and highway grants, WIC, child abuse and domestic violence, CDBG (federal infrastructure grants).
Legislative districts will be redrawn in 2021 based on census data. Every person counted is important in determining our representation in the Utah Legislature and in Congress, as well as local school board seats.
For those who will not be able to vote, this is your chance to be counted. Your participation will help determine your future representation. Even for those who can not vote, your friends and/or family can represent you at the ballot box. The most underrepresented groups in every census are children and the undocumented.
Recording your census information is easy. Go to my2020census.gov. You may have received your 12-digit census ID number for your residence in the mail. If you did not receive one (they are not delivered to P.O. boxes) there is a link to enter your address. The census questionnaire is simple and for most people will not take more than five minutes. If you don’t have either a web device or internet service, call a friend, ask them to log on for you and provide them your household information.
The future of Summit County is in your hands.
Stay home, stay safe, save lives and complete your census.
Summit County Council vice chair
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“Throughout it all, I have been so pleased and amazed to see how the Utah Rotarians stepped up in our time of COVID, as they always do.”