The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Who better to talk to?


To The Eagle:

So many issues are before us and it’s all happening so quickly. I call our current national situation as a crisis. Three main areas are at the top of my list of concerns:

1) How do we help all Americans understand the Constitution? As a high school senior (1964 in Fort Worth TX), it was required for graduation that each senior pass a civics class. The time spent for half a school year learning how government works and what it does for us was so important. I have always used what I learned there as I’ve grown older and it’s helped me over and over, as it still does. I haven’t seen those classes in our schools for many years. Now more than ever, I understand why they are so important. Many people talk about the Constitution in such a way that it’s obvious they don’t have a full understanding. It’s not an easy subject, but well worth taking the time to not only read, but discuss with friends, family and neighbors.

2) Voting: Each American has a voice in their government, a vote. Women have only voted for 100 years and been educated for not much longer. Two hundred years ago, women and non-white races in our country were not always given the opportunity to learn to read. When I was a young girl in Texas, I heard about the poll tax which was a tax levied on the “coloreds.” They had to pay to vote and since many of them did not have the $13 required (that’s the amount I remember), there were not many who voted. Others in the Southern states had to prove they could read a ballot. There again, it was a chance to discriminate against the “black vote.” Voting is not a choice to me, it’s my responsibility. Putting ballots sent in the mail on top of the stack of “junk” mail on the desk is not an option to me. It’s a privilege. We can all vote now, and thanks to the recently updated voting rights bill, it’s guaranteed to all citizens.

3) The one issue closest to home for me, is the widening divide in our country. We all seem to live in a “me” world where if you don’t agree with me, you are an “other,” not an equal somehow. Please hear yourself as you speak your views. Would you want your grandchildren to hear the words you’re speaking as you speak about others? What’s your tone? Is it respect? If not, what is behind your words? Fear? Anger? Are we a united people in our values? Have we really stopped to spend time thinking about what our personal values and beliefs are? I think our country is in crisis at this point. So many people are feeling fearful and anxious about the future. So who better to talk to than each other?

Karen Bertroch

Grays River


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