Letters to Editor: February 14 – 20, 2019
Asking F.C. High to Change Its Name is Repulsive
I wish to disagree with the recent Letter to Editor requesting a name change to the 75-year-old name of Falls Church High School. As one of nearly 25,000+ FCHS alumni, this idea is repulsive, to be blunt. We love our high school’s name, complete with its historical ties to Falls Church (whether village, town or city) and don’t see any reason to change.
A little history review: Fairfax County paid for the original building at Cherry/Hillwood in 1945 in the then Town of Falls Church. The new county-owned school took in the students from the town’s Jefferson High (Jefferson Institute on Broad/Cherry) to help educate all local students. Once the town became a city in 1948, it chose to build its new high school in 1951 and named it George Mason Jr./Sr. and we have happily coexisted since contrary to Mr. White’s claims of violence. Indeed, the 1954 FCHS Yearbook notes the longing remorse of the yearbook staff at the separation: “Perhaps the saddest event of our Sophomore year was the split (1951-1952) with our city classmates, who transferred to George Mason.” No violence noted there.
Finally, if not yet clear that we, the alumni of Falls Church High, do not welcome the idea of changing our name to suit some non-Falls Church High person. Please look at our mailing address, it is 7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church, VA 22042. Go Jags! And go Mustangs, too! We are family!
Double Standard When It Comes to Virginia Democrats
Your editorial entitled “The Sins of Virginia” is offensive. Democrats and Republicans have overwhelmingly joined voice to condemn Governor Northam, as they should. But you excuse the Governor’s obviously racist and offensive behavior because, in your words, Northam “has contributed to racial equality … matched by few” and view him as merely a reformed product of a racist Virginia history. Your piece provides no evidence of his reformation other than perhaps his party affiliation. Meanwhile, in many prior articles you label Republicans and all Trump supporters as racists for much less or no specific transgression whatsoever.
For a reality check, perhaps you might recall that southern Democrats — like the Governor himself at least through college — have been the source of the most vile racist acts in our American history; the Democratic Party is the historical home of slavery, Jim Crow, and the KKK. Despite this history, you transparently believe that Democrats walk “the paths of equality, justice and healing.” Meanwhile, in past editorials, you have haphazardly thrown stones of condemnation at Republicans and judged them as racists.
I’m not sure which is less forgivable, a Governor who has managed to get elected despite his stupid, racist actions, which further perpetuate the racist history of his political party, or an editor who sees the world through a black and white lens and projects propaganda that Democrats are good and deserving of forgiveness and Republicans are evil, no matter what they actually say or do.
If I have mischaracterized your views, then I look forward to reading of your uncast stone the next time any Republican commits a similar sin. But I am not holding my breath.
Since When is Studying Bible a ‘Hard Right’ Position?
In his Feb 7. “Richmond Report,” State Senator Dick Saslaw made a confusing comment about some Senate approved “bills that go contrary to gun safety and social issues promoted by the hard right.” He singled out SB 1502, which requires Virginia school districts to offer an elective credit high school course in Old and/or New Testament. From his syntax, I’m not sure if Saslaw thinks the bill goes “contrary” to the “hard right” or is advocated by it.
SB 1502 mandates school districts to offer a high school elective to students interested in learning about the Bible, to familiarize them with the “literature, art, music, mores, oratory, and public policy” it contains. Given that book’s foundational role in shaping the culture and society in which Americans live, such familiarity is hardly something exotic. For most of U.S. history, it would have been presumed a basic component of literacy.
Hopefully, that is not — and should not be — now deemed the preserve of the “hard right.”
John M. Grondelski
Correcting the Record On Dover’s Political Career in F.C.
In the recent article on former Falls Church mayor Dale Dover’s passing, it states that he did not run for re-election. In the 1994 election, Dale did run for City Council reelection, along with candidates Jim Slattery, Sam Mabry and myself.