Racism shouldn’t color judgment

Published 11:00 pm Friday, June 21, 2013

This is a rebuttal to letter by Dejerilyn King Henderson published on June 12.

Reading Mrs. Henderson’s words, I can’t help but feel as though I have been transported back to a by gone era. I was born in 1984 and I’m fairly certain, according to Wikipedia that segregation ended about two decades prior to my existence. Mrs. Henderson postulates that the problem with Troy City Schools is that there is an insufficient amount of diversity. This is a valid argument, if you are of the opinion that diversity is more valuable than ability.

I spent the first eight years of my adult life as a combat infantryman in the Marine Corps, serving multiple combat tours overseas. In all my years as an infantryman, I could not remember a single instance where I felt like there were not enough “white/black/brown/yellow/whatever” people around. What I do remember thinking often is that:

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“That person knows their stuff and they get the job done.”

As a small unit leader, I never had the slightest inclination to judge or evaluate someone based on the idea of diversity. Advocating the idea of diversity for the sake of race/color/creed or species is absolutely confounding to me. Diversity results in nothing less than the death of healthy competition. I do not want the right color for the job; I want the right person for the job.

So what if a white, female teacher has never lived in the projects? A person’s social status has nothing to do with qualifying them for a particular position. I would pose this question:

What would you, as a rational and prudent person, use to evaluate a potential teacher’s performance?

1) Their demographic?


2) Their level of education and inherent abilities to teach?

Mrs. Henderson’s racial overtones do a lot of damage to her cause. I agree with Mrs. King that racism still exists and is a deeply divisive issue. However, when we play the race card, we simply propagate the disease. As long as such things as Affirmative Action exist, racism will continue to permeate our society. We, as a culture, cannot continue to make decisions based on color; justice requires blindness.

I do not seek to cause strife with my words; I simply want to give voice to civil discourse. This document should simply reinforce the fact that we cannot allow racism to color our judgments and be the determining factor in advancing the cause of a righteous and free people.


Raymond M. “Tripp” Roddy

Jacksonville, N.C.


Thanks for Brown Bag and community spirit in Troy

I would like to publicly thank the City of Troy for the Brown Bag on the Square concert series. Shelia Jackson commented in The Messenger article that she “never felt such a strong sense of community before.” I agree! Several of my friends met me on the Square for an hour together to eat, dance, and just enjoy the community that we share. This is one of the many reasons I love living in Troy, and I will be watching The Messenger for the next Brown Bag event announcement.

Shelia and Team, thank you for all the great things you do to make Troy a wonderful place to live and raise a family. I didn’t grow up here, but it is certainly my home.

Karla Johnson