LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Stop focusing on race in policing

To the editor:

It was with great misgivings that I read The Central Virginian’s June 3 headline “Traffic stop data reveals racial disparity.” My misgivings were confirmed as the author’s focus was limited to race as the only criterion used to examine and judge how our local sheriffs and police enforce traffic laws.  

Rather than use race as your discriminator, why not incorporate other criteria? Looking at drivers that were stopped, ticketed or searched, one might ask the following questions: What was the age breakdown of the drivers – were they more young than old? Did the drivers take a driver education course? Were the drivers repeat or first-time offenders? Were the drivers from well-to-do or impoverished backgrounds? Were the drivers newly arrived to our country or native-born? Was a mathematical analysis of the disparity between incidents and population demographics done to determine statistical significance? 

Each one of the previous questions can be used to weave a story of discrimination – age, wealth, education, experience, or immigrant status.

Our country is being torn apart by individuals, groups and the news media who are using an individual’s race or ethnic background as the sole criterion for measuring one’s worth or actions. As for Louisa and the surrounding area, I have seen local organizations reach out to each other to meet, listen, empathize, and organize to avoid the racial divide that gripped our country during the riots of 2020. 

Mr. Holtzman, your article was a disservice to these local organizations, to our local office of the sheriff, police, and state police.

I am not one-dimensional! You are not one-dimensional! We, as a country, are not one-dimensional! Please stop looking at us through the jaded one-dimensional window of race or ethnicity.

Thomas Worosz Jr.

Zion Crossroads

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