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White privilege? It’s not the color of money. It’s the power of it | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
Money is power, and money is protection.
Money is power, and money is protection. [ JACQUELYN MARTIN | AP ]
Published Dec. 3, 2022

Money is the real privilege

Yes, there really is a thing called white privilege | Letter, Dec. 1

I’m a Black woman and I’m privileged. I was lucky enough grow up in primarily white suburbs. I didn’t worry about money — until college — or police brutality. I am lucky. The price is the occasional ignorant white person. They teach you the importance of protecting yourself, because you have no idea what those people are capable of.

My dad is Black. Once, he told me white people really only pay attention to Black people when we mess with their money. I think it was then when I realized that money is power. Money is protection. I think if Black people were not facing a huge wealth/privilege gap here in the U.S., we might be better able to protect and empower ourselves, rather than relying on others’ promises and awareness. Most (white) people nowadays recognize their privilege and lament the strife of the modern Black American, but no one seems to know how to fix that effectively.

A good start is supporting Black businesses. Where we spend our money is — hopefully — a deliberate choice and putting it into the Black community is one way for everyone to put their money where their mouth is while people continue debating the possibility of reparations. People can’t do anything with words; stuff gets done with money.

Haley Stewart, Flagler Beach

Thanks to marrow donors

Facing leukemia, a St. Pete dad hoped for a stranger’s help | Nov. 23

Lane DeGregory’s heartwarming story about her former Tampa Bay Times’ colleague, Bob Croslin, and his battle with leukemia was a perfect lead-up for the Thanksgiving weekend. It reminded me to be thankful. I was in a similar boat as Bob in 2014, and I was also saved by the heroes at Moffitt Cancer Center and the National Marrow National Donor Program. I now volunteer as an ambassador to create awareness about the nation’s registry of volunteer donors who stand ready to save the lives of patients like Bob and me. I give thanks every day for their willingness to donate their cells and offer the gift of life.

I also give thanks for visionaries in Congress, such as U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, who are champions in providing legislative support and funding to ensure the nation’s registry has the resources to facilitate and transport lifesaving cells here and worldwide. We are thankful that the national donor program helped Bob and me find our volunteer donors, and that Rep. Bilirakis continues to provide unwavering support in Congress to make it possible.

David Dauman, Palm Harbor

A cancer must-do list

Political leaders prep for gridlock, inquiries | Nov. 21

Like most of us this time of year, Congress has a lengthy must-do list and at the top of that list should be passing policies to save more lives from cancer. My mother was just diagnosed with breast cancer this week, and it is my hope that Congress makes cancer a priority, for her and everyone else battling cancer this season.

I want Congress to pass critical legislation increasing federal funding for cancer research and prevention, creating a pathway for Medicare coverage of multi-cancer early detection tests once they’re FDA approved and clinical benefit is shown, and improving patient quality of life across all stages of the disease by expanding access to palliative care.

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This must-do list is not a wish list. These policies are all essential, proven ways Congress can positively impact the lives of millions of American cancer patients, survivors and their families this year and for years to come.

I urge Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio to work with their colleagues to ensure these important cancer policies get passed in any final year-end legislation — for my mom, our family and so many other Floridians like us during the holidays.

Hyacinth Burrowes, St. Petersburg

A Trop site to unite St. Pete

Fix Tropicana Field by turning it into a holiday skating rink already | Column, Dec. 1

Thanks to columnist Stephanie Hayes for her creative reimagining of Tropicana Field. In my ethics classes this semester at St. Petersburg College, my students wrote research papers on this very topic: more than 100 unique proposals for ethical redevelopment of the Gas Plant district. Yes, some of their suggestions aimed in the direction of Costco or a giant WaWa (people do need goods and gas after all). Others offered something more substantial, like converting the Trop into housing for temporarily homeless persons, a public park meant to recover the region’s natural beauty and waterways, or an expanded civil rights and regional history center to honor the community that the stadium and its dismal, ugly, and typically empty parking lots replaced. Some students took the project further and included turning I-175 into a mirror of the High Line Park in NYC. The most radical proposals demanded that the city tear down that largely unused freeway altogether, reuniting St. Pete’s downtown with its south side. Tropicana Field sits in the center of St. Pete’s complicated moral divide between rich and poor, Black and white. It currently divides our city in half. Whatever is done with the site must meet the challenge of bringing us together.

Peter Westmoreland, St. Petersburg