A Hard Look at Ourselves
To the editor:
What do we do when confronted with the terrible news of the actions and inactions of the Minneapolis police officers that led to the death of George Floyd? What do we do when our president tweets, in the exact words used by a racist police chief in the 1960s, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts”? What do we do?
In the midst of a global pandemic, racism is alive and well. On Cape Cod, according to the 2010 census, 92.7 percent of our population is white. I hope the 2020 census will reveal a greater diversity, but the Cape will remain predominantly white.
What we can do is make sure everyone feels welcome and safe here, not just white people. As a white person, I only recently learned the term “white spaces,” referring to places where white folks feel perfectly comfortable: parks, jogging on streets, etc.
But recent events tell us that a black man birdwatching in Central Park can have the police called on him when he asks a white woman to leash her dog (as the rules of the area required). A black man in Georgia is shot while jogging, and it takes months to decide if his killers should be accused of murder.
We should all be outraged by these events. What should we do with that rage? The current president didn’t create racism in this country, but he certainly has made it great again. We need to remove him from office in November.
And we need to take a hard look at our communities and remove the disparities in health care, housing, employment, education, opportunity, and justice, which are the legacy of a country founded on racism.
Preparing for a Different Future
To the editor:
Wellfleet is seeking a new town administrator. Truro is looking for a new town manager. Each town has a screening committee, is using the same consultant, and presumably is considering much the same pool of candidates.
As in past such searches, we can expect that applicants’ management experience, style, and skills will be evaluated, as will financial and budget experience and references. But the current searches come at a time when past job qualifications, though still essential, are not enough.
The future is going to be very different from the past, in Truro, in Wellfleet, and elsewhere.
Candidates for town management must be fully vetted for their awareness and ability to deal with the looming challenges of global pandemics (Covid-19 won’t be the last) and with the increasing climate emergency we face. Today’s pandemic has opened our eyes to the interconnectedness of everything — public health, food and housing security, environmental and economic resilience and sustainability.
The screening committees and the select boards of Truro and Wellfleet need to ascertain not only budget and management skills, but an applicant’s preparedness to deal with what the future is likely to bring. If a candidate reveals a lack of awareness of the challenges that lie ahead, and has not already given these matters considerable thought, he or she should be considered unqualified for the job.
A Gem in the Making
To the editor:
I took great pleasure in looking at that photo of Lilli Osowski with her customary big smile and the accompanying article describing how caring this young lady is [“Lilli Osowski Goes All In for Veterans,” May 21, page 6].
Her community service comes as no surprise to me. I had the pleasure of knowing Lilli when I spent several weeks at Seashore Point during the winter. She was one of the nursing assistants who tended to me. She was always so cheerful and accommodating.
Even when she wasn’t assigned to my room, she looked in on me to inquire about my feelings and my needs. Her compassion is extraordinary in one so young. Even after I went from Seashore Point to the hospital and then back home again under hospice care, Lilli didn’t forget me. She called to offer her services anytime I needed her. When she becomes a full-fledged nurse, the staff will have acquired a gem.
Thank you, Lilli. God bless you. Keep up your good work. You make the world a better place.