I know I am not the only Valley Breeze reader that was surprised and disappointed in Tom Ward’s poorly reasoned and highly deceptive analysis of President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan, so I thought a proper rebuttal was in order. First off, if you want to talk about anger in American politics, but conveniently fail to mention the political violence engendered for four years by former President Trump which culminated in the deadly attack on our nation’s Capitol by his supporters (and to Trump’s second Impeachment), you clearly aren’t setting out to talk openly and honestly about the “political moment” in America.

Second, The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) signed into law this week by President Joe Biden is a groundbreaking investment in our state and our country’s future. The IIJA will bring $1.7 billion for highway and bridge maintenance and repairs to Rhode Island over five years, a minimum of $100 million dollars to expand broadband internet coverage statewide, $272 million for public transportation over five years, and $375 million over five years to improve water infrastructure across the state. President Trump loved to hype his fake “Infrastructure Week,” but it is President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party who have delivered on a once-in-a-generation investment in the future economic growth and prosperity of our country, and I for one am celebrating the REAL Infrastructure Week this week in America.

Third, the misrepresentation of “culture cancelation” or “wokeism” is merely a deflection from the dishonest appraisal of a hagiographic representation of historical understanding that Republicans have anchored themselves to in hopes of a white backlash against the highly successful and necessary Black Live Matter movement. This movement has finally forced a large proportion of Americans to deal with the very real systemic and structural racism in our country’s history that has shaped the contours of the disparities we live with today with respect to housing, jobs, and income between white, African American, and Latinx communities. We must honestly and forthrightly address these disparities in order to ensure opportunity and middle-class success for Americans of all races, colors, and creeds. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan and Build Back Better Plan go a long way toward dealing with these systemic issues in our society.

And lastly, perhaps Mr. Ward has forgotten that Cumberland is a Democratic town and that his viewpoint is not shared by the majority of town residents. Cumberland not only voted 55 percent for President Joe Biden over 42 percent for Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election but also in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary election, Cumberland Democratic primary voters supported Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton by 55 percent to 41 percent, how is that for “woke” Mr. Ward?

In Cumberland, and in Rhode Island, we believe in a government that makes investments in our future, increases economic prosperity, and provides an adequate social safety.

Josh O’Neill


(2) comments


Talking "openly and honestly" should include the riots, wide-scale destruction, looting, and deaths orchestrated and often encouraged by the far left during the summer of 2020, not just the left's obsession and exaggeration of a election integrity protest at our capital.

It is perfectly acceptable to raise awareness of "systematic" disadvantages as long as that also includes an acknowledgment of the privileges that come from strong family units instead of an ideologically driven focus and agwnda that has become obsessed with skin color. The left should expect pushback if they make everything about race.

Thomas Ficca

Very well said Linoln247 . Maybe some day the far left will get their heads out of the sand

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