LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Student’s Death a Tragic Sign of Societal Racism

Members of the Bowie State University ROTC carry the casket of Richard Collins III, a Bowie State student fatally stabbed in a possible hate crime, during a May 26 funeral service at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. (Travis Riddick/The Washington Informer)
Members of the Bowie State University ROTC carry the casket of Richard Collins III, a Bowie State student fatally stabbed in a possible hate crime, during a May 26 funeral service at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. (Travis Riddick/The Washington Informer)

Thank you for featuring a story about the young man who was murdered recently on the campus of Maryland University [“Slain Bowie State Student Celebrated at Funeral Service,” by William J. Ford, June 1-7, 2017 edition]. It is fitting that this young man should be front-page news. First of all, he was an African-American male who had led an exemplary, too-short life. He was doing positive things and reaching for worthwhile goals. He was on track to become a much-needed contributing member of society. He stood out as one who chose the right path to adulthood. Unfortunately, he will never achieve any more of the goals that he was preparing to pursue. He was deprived of his very life by a vicious racist who has no regard for life, particularly black life. The family of Richard Collins III has been plunged into the kind of grief that no family should ever have to endure. Racially based hatred is alive and thriving in the USA. By putting the story of this incident and the funeral service on your front page, you are keeping the fact in front of us: This is not a post-racial society, and probably never will be. However, we need to do something quick to stop the killings that are taking away our brightest stars.

Serita Gladden
Prince George’s County

Astronaut’s Tale Inspires Kids to New Heights

Your article in the June 1, 2017, edition of the Informer’s Lifestyle Section, “Retired Black Astronaut Pens Inspirational Memoir,” by Lauren Poteat, is a great example of why I just love reading your paper. First, let me say this story is real news to me. If it were not for your newspaper writing about Mr. Leland Melvin, I would have not known anything about him. Secondly, it is one of the most inspirational stories I’ve read in some time. Just think of how many times you’ve heard a black school kid say they wanted to be a NBA or NFL star when they are asked what they wanted to be. Well, this story shows them that they cannot only be a NFL or NBA star, but be an astronaut also. If I had anything to do with it, Mr. Melvin’s photograph would hang in every high school coaches’ office along with a copy of his book on their desks, and every student athlete who enters their office would know about Mr. Melvin. Your article is just awesome and so is The Washington Informer.

Johnny Simpson
Washington, D.C.

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