I felt shocked with pain when I read Reginald Richard’s personal description of his experience as an actor portraying the household butler, Frank Lee, at Mount Vernon for a visiting tour group of young women [“A day in the life of a reenactor for the Enslaved People of Mount Vernon Tour,” Local Opinions, Nov. 3]. I was enraged by the rude stupidity and blatant racist comments and behavior of the adult (white) chaperone: “I got one, I got one of the slaves.” Then she grabbed Mr. Richard’s arm and told him that he should speak in his “slave voice.” It couldn’t get worse, I thought as I read on in the article, but it did: “Don’t get too close to him, we don’t know if he’s human or where he’s been,” the chaperone blurted out to the young girls.

I was stunned with disgust. She should not be a chaperone for the young to only damage their evolving minds and distort an understanding of our shameful history of slavery. It sounds as if this chaperone needs a solo trip back to Mount Vernon to apologize to Mr. Richard — and then pay attention to what he can attempt to teach her on the “Enslaved People of Mount Vernon Tour.”

Elizabeth Richter, Alexandria

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