Mr. Reichert’s letter in this past Sunday’s paper was passionate, thoughtful and I believe, quite true. I bet he and I grew up in the 1950s and, although not a perfect era in terms of race relations, we had strong families and a less complicated world.
Finding pop bottles to turn in for penny candy, earning a quarter to wash a car, playing baseball, cowboys and indians, board games and being home when the streetlights came on were the fabric of our upbringing.
I was educated in Tennessee and South Carolina, so I grew up in a fairly segregated South. But I recall the African-American family as strong, hard-working and ambitious despite many obstacles thrown in their way. Our sole black police officer in Bennettsville, S.C. in 1967, could not answer calls outside of the black neighborhoods and 20 years later became their chief of police for a 32-person department.
Despite segregation such as this, the family structure was strong, as were the churches and the schools. In Bennettsville, Chief Pete Copeland set a great example.
Mr. Reichert is right, we have lost our way and I believe we cannot rely on either the Republicans or the Democrats to make things better. We have to depend on a strong family structure, our faith and our schools. We have to believe in individualism and not rely on the government to succeed in life.
Phil Henning, Smithton