Letters to the Editor

   Written by on October 12, 2017 at 11:33 am

Moton Belongs to Longwood?

Recently while researching the deed to an adjacent property, I stumbled upon a transaction between two parties that nearly floored me and left me in a state of utter disbelief.  I, along with many of the people in the area, were unaware and, to say the least, were uninformed regarding the transfer of ownership of the Moton Museum from the museum’s Board of Directors to Longwood University. To make this point perfectly clear- The Moton Museum now belongs to Longwood University! To say I was shocked would be a gross understatement.  As I ponder the monumental history and now uncertain future of the Moton Museum I, along with scores of other concerned donors, patrons and supporters have many questions that need to be addressed.  Who knew this transaction had taken place? Why wasn’t the public notified of such a drastic decision being contemplated and ultimately made by the Moton Museum’s Board of Directors?  As owners of the Moton Museum, exactly what is Longwood University planning to do with the site in the future?

This transfer of ownership in my opinion is a personal insult to life of Barbara Rose Johns, other 1951 strikers, the Martha E. Forrester Council of Women, Moton students, teachers and all of the many volunteers who put so much of their time, energy and money into the purchase of the Moton School from Prince Edward County in 2001.  I can vividly recall traveling to Norfolk, Virginia with a delegation of the Martha E. Forrester Council of Women to lobby members of the Legislative Black Caucus for funding for the Moton Museum. These volunteers, namely Clara Ligon, Vera Allen, Edwider Allen, Edna Allen, Thomas Mayfield, Martha Cook, George Bagby, and Ken Woodley, along with many others spent countless hours furthering this cause.  After the formation of the Moton Museum, Thomas Mayfield served as the first president of the board of directors followed by General Sam Wilson.  Later, I also served as the Moton Musuem’s president and vice president and held these positions close to my heart.  It was especially fulfilling for me as I was a part of the Moton Museum’s legacy.  After my second year in school 1958, the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors decided not to appropriate any funds for public education, which in effect closed the schools in Prince Edward County.  For two years I did not attend school at all. Then my parents, Minor and Ruth Eggleston, rented a home in Cumberland County, so I along with my siblings, could attend school.  In 1964 we came back to the Prince Edward County Free Schools. I later graduated from St. Paul’s College as a Moton/Brown Scholarship recipient with a majority of my classes being held at the Moton Museum.

In the past Longwood University has used eminent domain to force many black residents out of their homes as the University seized properties in its expansion efforts. These residents had their homes taken and saw their voting strength diluted. Now Longwood University along with money and assistance from some individuals who had some power on the Moton Museum Board, is taking one of the most important historic entities in the Black community, the Moton Museum. Longwood’s hidden agenda seems to be finally revealed-they want to own everything in the vicinity of the University. Why Longwood University, the Moton Council or the Moton Museum Board of Trustees felt they did not need to discuss this issue with the Moton alumni or the community is a puzzling paradox.

I challenge all Moton alumni to rally in an effort to right this wrong done to the African-American community and the legacy of the Civil Rights era in Southside Virginia.  I also call on all civic leaders in the area and abroad to look into this miscarriage of authority by the Moton Musuem’s Board of Directors.  Furthermore, I would like to call on Longwood University to return the Moton Museum to its rightful owners-the African-American community.  Longwood can help the Museum without owning this historic building. Who’s to intervene on behalf of the community to stop Longwood from turning the Moton Museum into a dorm or parking lot?  This idea seem farfetched? Remember- they do own the property.

(The thoughts expressed in this letter are solely my own and do not reflect the thoughts or concerns of any group or organization)

Carl U. Eggleston

Former President of the Moton Museum
Board of Directors

Gun Control is a Waste of Time

Tim Kaine and Terry McAuliffe recently weighed in wanting Virginians to think another layer of gun laws will save lives. Passing restrictive gun laws is like pulling certain teeth from the jaws of a shark. No matter which teeth (or how many get pulled), there are always plenty left to rip and kill! So goes the same analogy with guns in America! Gun ignorant mass killers often choose assault style weapons to wreak havoc on “soft targets”! Gun ignorant politicians think banning these guns will save lives and a (mostly) gun ignorant population agrees!

Since it’s in the DNA of every Democrat to ban guns, the assault style arm is their first, “reasonable” step. If every semi auto rifle could (be) confiscated today, mass killings would continue. Any gun from a short range shotgun to the .50 cal. (2000+ yard) snipers rifle can be employed in inventive ways on “soft targets” to inflict mass casualties by determined killers. As soon as it happens, (and it will), the Democrats will be out in front then (as they are now) to ban the latest choice of firearm used in a mass killing. By the way, how many of the thousands of legally owned machine guns and/or NRA members have been involved in mass shootings …. None!

This cycle of killings followed by confiscation pursuits of one type gun to the next is without end (by Democrats) until the day arrives when guns are gone. By then, even the length of knife blades will fall under governmentally regulated guidelines! Ralph Northam’s campaign ads once promoted assault style weapons bans until informed of the FBI Uniform Crime Report stats stating how more people are killed in America each year by blunt force trauma (by far) over assault style guns! Doubters of that statistic need to look it up! Northam’s TV attacks on guns have currently stopped but will continue if he’s elected!

 For those who haven’t noticed, present day Democrats govern by a method of “Symbolism Over Substance”. Somehow outlawing a given type of firearm will make America safer … just as removing Confederate statues will somehow cure racial inequality!

 Karl Schmidt

Farmville, Va.

Politically Correct American Exceptionalism 

Now that extreme political correctness has become the American culture’s norm, we can extend the nation’s exceptionalism to exclude all of the human ills of history.  To be truly an inclusive American, we should also disclaim most of the historical abuses of the white race such as Western Christianity the renascence, the so-called age of enlightenment, the industrial revolution, modern technology and science, and democracy; and emphasize the achievements of our non-white citizens.  The recent shift of Columbus Day to the more tolerant Indigenous People’s Day is a good move to erase the celebration of an evil white European conqueror as the individual who discovered America and the so-called New World.  I think it appropriate to elevate our American heritage and have a day to celebrate Pocahontas, who was the first Indigenous American to cross the Atlantic, as the American who discovered Europe.

David Torrence

Meherrin, Va.

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