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United States Postal Service closes Virginia historical post office over exhibit

The exhibit had been there for over ten years

By Lawrence Edward HincheePublished 2 years ago 3 min read
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The Postal Service said that it closed a small, historic Virginia post office located in the same building as a museum about racial, segregation earlier this summer due to concerns about the museum’s historical display. In Germany, Poland and other countries, symbols of the Nazis atrocities still stand and in most cases are being renovated. School children are required to visit the concentration camps to learn of the Nazi past so there is no repeat. Shouldn't we as a country be doing the same so we don't repeat the past?

In June, the Postal Service suspended operations at a small post office in Montpelier Station Post Office, which is located inside a restored train depot owned by a nonprofit foundation that manages former president James Madison’s Montpelier estate. The museum has two exterior doors with historical signs labeling one “white” and the other “colored.”

“Postal Service management considered that some customers may associate the racially-based, segregated entrances with the current operations of the Post Office and thereby draw negative associations between those operations and the painful legacy of discrimination and segregation,” Philip Bogenberger, a spokesperson for the Postal Service, said in a statement to USA TODAY Thursday.

In June, the Postal Service suspended operations at a small post office in Montpelier Station Post Office, which is located inside a restored train depot owned by a nonprofit foundation that manages former president James Madison’s Montpelier estate. The museum has two exterior doors with historical signs labeling one “white” and the other “colored.”

“Postal Service management considered that some customers may associate the racially-based, segregated entrances with the current operations of the Post Office and thereby draw negative associations between those operations and the painful legacy of discrimination and segregation,” Philip Bogenberger, a spokesperson for the Postal Service, said in a statement to USA TODAY Thursday.

The 1910 train depot that houses the museum and the post office, located adjacent to the gates of Montpelier, was preserved to represent what it would have looked like during the Jim Crow era. The exhibit, which opened in 2010, is explained by a panel on the building’s exterior.

But Bogenberger said information about the museum and its proximity to the post office “was only recently brought to the attention of senior Postal Service management.”

Christy Moriarty, the foundation’s communications director, said the exhibit has co-exited with the post office for more than a decade.

“We are proud of the exhibition that presents the realities of life during the Jim Crow era, showing the original segregated ticketing and waiting facilities,” Moriarty said in a statement to the Culpeper Star-Exponent newspaper. “We call upon the USPS to reverse the decision and reopen this historic facility that has served this community for over a century.”

The post office had one employee and was open four hours each day, according to Bogenberger.

The office closed without any notice to the nearly 100 customers it serves, creating logistical issues for the rural community, U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, who represents the area, said in a letter to the agency’s regional manager, earlier this month.

Bogenberger said the Postal Service intends to find another suitable location in the community to operate or if none are available, conduct a study to decide whether or not to discontinue the branch. (Source: Yahoo News)

This would be another opportunity to teach our children about the racial history of America. Instead of closing the post office why not leave it open and let our children learn from our past? Every nation has a past, and it isn’t pretty. Germany has the Holocaust; The British had slavery as did most of the world back during that time period. If you look at it, slavery still exists today, especially in some Muslim countries.

If we can’t teach our children about this, then how are we going to teach our children about the Negro Baseball Leagues? How are we going to teach the next generation about our history if we are going shut down a post office, ban books etc? How can we do it?

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About the Creator

Lawrence Edward Hinchee

I am a new author. I wrote my memoir Silent Cries and it is available on Amazon.com. I am new to writing and most of my writing has been for academia. I possess an MBA from Regis University in Denver, CO. I reside in Roanoke, VA.

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  • HandsomelouiiThePoet (Lonzo ward)about a year ago

    Insights are on point, Thanks for sharing this ❗❗💯🙏😉👍

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