Reparations to Native Americans

Now that reparations are back in the news, I have a few thoughts:

In the first hundred years of contacts with Europeans, the Native American population of the new world declined by at least 35 million people because of contagious diseases and armed conflict.

In the 1600s, as the Pilgrims in New England seized Indian land by warfare, they sold captured Indians to be slaves on sugar plantations in the Caribbean.

In the 1830s, thousands of Indians east of the Mississippi were forcibly uprooted and deported to lands west of the Mississippi so that whites could take over their land. About one-third of the Cherokees who were evicted from their farms and towns died on the “Trail of Tears” as they walked 1,000 miles to Oklahoma during winter.

As the white man moved farther and farther west of Mississippi, he took Indian lands by force with no compensation for the Indians except a string of unfulfilled promises.

In the last part of the 19th century, the U.S. Army committed systematic genocide of Indians. Those Indians surviving the genocide were forced onto reservations where the Indians lived in confinement.

No treaty with any Indian tribe has ever been fully honored by the white man.

In short, Europeans stole the landmass of America along with all its natural resources from the Indians, and in the process of stealing their land slaughtered and enslaved the Indians. The Indians are owed reparations.

Ronald J. Short

Winston-Salem

Nurses shouldn’t be victims

I have worked as a registered nurse in Winston-Salem for more than 20 years, and I am concerned. Workplace violence is an all-to-common problem, and the health care profession is not immune. Four months ago, two South Carolina hospitals were the sites of shootings. In one incident, a nurse was critically injured by a patient and in the other, a police officer was wounded by a visitor. However, most incidences are less dramatic and go underreported. As a result, the public is unaware of the degree of the problem.

According to OSHA, health care workers are four times more likely to be the victim of a violent incident than people in other professions. Patients are the majority of those inflicting this violence.

It is unacceptable that health care workers are threatened, hit, punched and spat upon. We need nurses who are not fearful to work.

Currently, most states don’t require health care facilities to report and track incidences of violence. Legislation, The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309), is pending in Congress. It would mandate that violence be addressed by forcing OSHA to take the lead in ensuring health care facilities have a plan to prevent violence.

My colleagues worry if they will be impacted by violence at work, and nurses should not have to fear for their safety. I stand with the American Nurses Association in saying #EndNurseAbuse. Please reach out to your representative in support of this bill.

Amy Milner

Winston-Salem

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