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Respect and tolerance are still lacking in State College; Certainly not better off four years ago

Respect, tolerance are still lacking in State College

My wife and I moved to State College in 1971, when I accepted my first teaching position in the (then) Department of Religious Studies at Penn State. The next year we bought a beautiful home in Park Forest Village. Within a few days of moving, we found a huge swastika painted on the back of our house. We don’t know how someone heard about our ethnic Jewish background. In 2006, after retiring from Penn State, I was offered an endowed professorship and administrative position at Utah State University, and we moved to the Logan, Utah community. When our new neighbors knocked on our door to introduce themselves (and presumably welcome us to our new neighborhood), many of them noticed the “mezuzah” on the frame of our front door. Most of them never spoke to us again. After feeling regularly discriminated against throughout the community, we retired from USU in 2010 and returned to State College. How sad it is to see that there is now anti-Semitism worse in State College than it was when we first arrived in 1971. It would certainly be a miracle if our community learned some respect and tolerance for all members of the State College community, regardless of race, religion or sexual identity.

Charles S. Prebish, State College

Certainly not better off four years ago

In his recent newsletter, Rep. Glenn Thompson, citing a Fox News poll, claimed that a majority of Americans think they are worse off now than they were four years ago under President Trump. He repeats a Republican talking point recently popularized by Trump.

But saying something doesn’t make it so. Not all of us have short or distorted memories. Four years ago, we were in the early stages of a mismanaged pandemic that devastated our economy, upended our lives, and killed more than a million Americans.

Consider the CDT headlines from that era:

  • All of Pennsylvania is now under orders to stay at home

  • Construction projects in Center County have been delayed due to the coronavirus

  • Dozens of inmates released from Center County Jail … to contain the spread of COVID-19

  • Pennsylvania reaches 26,490 total cases of COVID-19

  • In-person spring semester classes suspended for Penn State

And these national headlines in April 2020:

  • Virus throws millions more out of work, and Washington struggles to keep pace (NY Times)

  • US confirmed coronavirus cases top half a million; Global coronavirus death toll passes 100,000 (WSJ)

  • ‘It’s a sinking ship’: COVID-19 deaths triple at state vet nursing home (Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • As small businesses go bankrupt, some wonder if the latest relief package will be enough to save them (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  • The US was plagued by denial and dysfunction… and opportunities to alleviate the pandemic were lost (Washington Post)

Does anyone really think we were better off four years ago? Thompson insults our intelligence. We actually survived the crisis.

Ed Satalia, State College