Letter: Post’s editorial more divisive than Heggins

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 11, 2021

The editorial published on March 4 entitled “No minority status lesser than another” has the Salisbury Post Editorial Board as the byline. I question the judgment of this board in writing or approving the portrayal of a comment by Councilwoman Al Heggins during the Salisbury City Council meeting on March 2.

In the context of a discussion about the need to monitor and increase the participation of people of color on the city boards and commissions, Mayor Alexander made the comment that one applicant is Jewish, and thus a minority. Councilwoman Heggins politely responded that although Judaism is a religious minority it is not a racial minority, which was the matter under discussion. There was no dispute about this and the Council went on with approving the applicants. This can be seen in the video of the meeting at about two hours and 15 minutes into the council’s meeting video.

The editorial that followed took up this brief exchange as evidence that Heggins was disrespecting Judaism and did not recognize the historical discrimination and hostility against the Jewish people. It laid out the ways that Jews have suffered throughout history, while acknowledging that Heggins’ statement is factually correct that Jews are not a racial minority. So, what was the point of making this an issue worthy of a featured editorial?

It appears that it is an attempt to once again to present a portrait of Al Heggins as divisive. In her role as mayor and now as mayor pro tem, Al Heggins has done more to bring attention to the inequalities in our community than any previous city official. The Post’s editor or editorial board by looking for opportunities to criticize her has led to more divisiveness than any statement by Al.

— Nan Lund