A Virginia post office recently shut down operations all because of a controversy regarding a historical display that showed “White” and “Colored” signs hanging over two separate doors of a restored train station. Apparently, the U.S. Postal Service is done being associated with the mock Jim Crow presentation—which might be a white fragility thing, or it might just be a fear that Black people could see the segregation signs and think, “TF is this?”
Either way, not everybody is happy about it.
According to the Washington Post, the Postal Service suspended operations at its Montpelier Station in Orange County, Virginia, over the summer because it “determined the display at the site was unacceptable to the Postal Service.”
“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 that marked prior historical eras,” the Postal Service said in a statement.
The segregation-era exhibit was opened in 2010 by the Montpelier Foundation, a nonprofit organization that runs the estate that houses the post office. The display is meant to “foster the discussion of citizenship and equal justice in American society,” according to a sign placed outside the exhibit.
But the closure of the post office location presents two problems. First, there’s the issue that the USPS potentially shut the Montpelier Station down to placate [white] people who would rather see America’s racist past buried than see it replicated through museum displays. But the more immediate issue is—TF are Orange County residents supposed to do about receiving their mail if the post office that services them has been shut down?
From the Post:
The post office’s closure has left nearly 100 residents without mail delivery, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a Democrat whose congressional district includes Orange County, wrote in an Aug. 4 letter to the Postal Service’s Virginia district manager. She did not address the Postal Service’s concerns in her letter, and her office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post early Friday. But she wrote that residents were not given proper warning before the Montpelier Station location shut down and now must travel to another post office to pick up their mail.
“While it is understandable that there may be conditions under which USPS decides to consolidate or close a post office location,” Spanberger wrote, “it is wholly unacceptable to leave entire communities in the lurch without reliable access to mail services.”
Meanwhile, Christy Moriarty, a spokesperson for the Montpelier Foundation, called on the USPS “to reverse the decision and reopen this historic facility that has served this community for over a century.”
“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.
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