There have been a lot of questions raised after Wednesday’s letter to the editor by Halifax Councilman Jack Dunavant.

As a newspaper, The Gazette is a watchdog for the community. The newspaper must hold elected officials accountable for not only their actions, but their words.

In this case, The Gazette felt it was best to publish the letter Dunavant sent to both Halifax County newspapers to expose the kind of ideology behind an elected official. (The other local newspaper, the News & Record, also published the letter.)

Community members, in this particular case, deserve to know the mindset of a town of Halifax council member.

The easy way out would have been to shelve the letter and pretend thoughts such as those expressed by the councilman do not exist in the community. To do that would be to bury the truth from readers.

The letter in no way reflects the opinion of the newspaper. It’s just the opposite. The letter was published to expose views of an elected official. These kinds of views are the centerpiece of a massive movement toward racial justice in this country.

Before any progress can be made on that front, the community, state and nation must admit that racism is indeed a widespread problem that must be addressed — and changed.

The letter, openly penned by a council member, brought to light those views and cemented the need for that change.