Town Square, Aug. 26, 2020

The Dorchester Banner welcomes readers’ comments on topics of public interest.

Town Square is an opinion column to which readers can submit their views. As a true community newspaper, we’re always looking for ways to include local thought and pertinent viewpoints. This column is a way to share those thoughts. Civility and fair comment will always prevail.

TALBOT COUNTY COUNCIL VOTES 3-2 TO KEEP CONFEDERATE STATUE: As someone who grew up just one county over from Talbot, the irony of this controversy is remarkable. Growing up in Dorchester County, there was always this sense of inferiority, to our wealthy neighbors over the bridge. The shade was most evident when the Hyatt Chesapeake landed in Cambridge. Oh the clutching of the pearls that a Hyatt Resort would open in Cambridge, a town (20 years ago) still struggling to revitalize and come to terms with racial strife! If I had a dollar for every time I heard what a mistake Hyatt made by not opening in Talbot County I could open my own resort. Yet today I am proud to say such a monument would never have stood in Dorchester County.

The black community there resisted this kind of oppression for decades and have raised their voices for real, positive change. Now what stands is a world class visitor experience; a National Scenic By-way, tour companies, inspiring murals in public spaces, new small businesses and a world-class visitor center that connects the story of Harriet Tubman to the modern day civil rights movement. Today, the Mayor of Cambridge is a black woman. Turns out the Hyatt made a wise investment in Cambridge as tens of thousands of visitors travel there from around the world to share in this prolific story. A story that could only be told by confronting, embracing and moving beyond a painful past.

FLOODING: I have been visiting Dorchester County for more than 20 years. The change in the landscape since I was there in 1999 is dramatic. And it isn’t because of careless development – not a whole lot of building going on in Dorchester, past or present – it is all global warming and the slow sinking of the land itself. Logging, particularly over the past two centuries, has also contributed to the land eroding/sinking/dropping off. Clear cutting and non-sustainable practices allowed salty water to seep in, preventing new trees from growing in place of the old. Marshes and new open water has taken over. Sometimes you can’t drive the Tubman Byway in western Dorchester because of road closures due to flooding.

SOME CRITICIZED SUICIDAL MAN ON BAY BRIDGE: Y’all are so heartless. You don’t know what that man was going through. It doesn’t matter if he was up there for 30 minutes or 20 hours. Mental health takes patience. You can’t rush something like talking someone out of suicide. To everyone who says, “If he wanted to, he should’ve just done it”, you’re absolutely disgusting. I hope you don’t say that if it was someone in your family/friend group. Y’all are more worried about how the traffic was and that’s sick. Mental health matters.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Town Square – your public forum – is moderated by Dorchester Banner Editor Dave Ryan. Email your comments to dryan@newszap.com.