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Opinion/Letter: Aid to Afghans shows Charlottesville growth

Opinion/Letter: Aid to Afghans shows Charlottesville growth

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I am writing in response to the article titled “Greater Charlottesville and Albemarle area plans to welcome 250 Afghan refugees,” The Daily Progress, Oct. 13.

Charlottesville has come a long way from that life-changing day of Aug. 12, 2017. It’s evident the Unite the Right rally made citizens in Charlottesville come together in a way they’d never done before to honor Heather Heyer and all the people hurt both physically and emotionally from that day.

Charlottesville just recently took down not only the Robert E. Lee statue, but also the Stonewall Jackson and Lewis, Sacajawea and Clark statues to show their support in the fight for equality between different races and genders. The Lewis and Clark statue represented Sacajawea as an incompetent, meek girl who relied on Lewis and Clark to protect her. We know this is a false representation of who she really was.

The history of Charlottesville has not been so kind to people of difference races and genders. But the Charlottesville citizens of the 21st century have learned from these mistakes and are starting the long process of altering the viewpoint citizens may still have on people of color and other false assumptions.

It takes a village to do this work, and the citizens of Charlottesville are up to the challenge. They are now about to welcome over 250 Afghan refugees to their community and provide them with shelters, jobs and other necessary survival resources.

Charlottesville is giving Afghan refugees a second chance at life and a freedom they would’ve never experience if they stayed under the Taliban. Afghan women are not allowed many rights under the Taliban; but now, thanks to Charlottesville, these women have the right to go to school, work or live a life not always companied by a male.

This city, once full of hate and inequality, turns into a city full of love and support for everyone. I’m honored to live near a place so welcoming to others, no matter what their background is.

Molly Russell

Albemarle County

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