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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, October 07, 2017 1:00 am


Writer's tortured analogy cheapens immigrants' plight

The Sept. 25 Perspective page featured two pieces illuminated by their proximity to one another. In the center was the editorial on challenges in conservation efforts titled “Seeing the forest” – a nod to looking at the big picture instead of only seeing small details. To its immediate right was a letter comparing immigration to home ownership – a letter which, for its strained metaphor, utterly fails to see anything beyond its author's own inane attempts at rational thought.

The letter writer bemoans the solitary curse of seeing things logically, but in spite of the self-congratulatory assertions of his “logic,” one thing remains clear: Trying to understand issues like DACA by relating the nation to one's home is arguably the worst way to understand such a complex issue. Understanding America as a nice home you worked hard to provide for your family is not only backward, it speaks to a bizarre paternalism whereby the writer posits himself as owner and overseer of the entire United States. While it is bad to imagine yourself a slave to logic in considering an issue with undeniable ethical and humanitarian concerns, it is worse to imagine that ignoring such concerns might afford you any sort of high ground.

The writer could certainly ask far more relevant questions, like whether you should refuse the safety of your home to a neighbor whose house is on fire. Instead, he uses the tired metaphor of the house to engage in the same kind of fearmongering normally reserved for what the writer might call more “emotional” perspectives. Immigrants are not thieves; they do not seek our domination. Importantly, they remind us that – much to the writer's chagrin – our value and rights are not defined solely by where we are born.

Guy Spriggs

Fort Wayne

The power of words

“War is peace.” “Freedom is slavery.” “Ignorance is strength.” If you don't recognize these statements, please read George Orwell's classic “1984.”

If you do, pay particular attention to the passages about how changing word meanings changes the way we think. For example, illegal aliens can become undocumented workers who can become Dreamers. Interesting, isn't it, how each term creates a different image while naming the same thing?

E. Foy Rusk

Fort Wayne

With all that's going on, Trump's not the problem

Let me be perfectly clear. President Donald Trump is not the problem. It has most recently started with one overpaid, underperforming African-American NFL player protesting, what, some perceived racial injustice? Oh right, if you're black and you're doing a crime and you resist and get shot, it's whose fault? Do cops ever do wrong? Of course. You want to do their job?

So Trump calls out the whiny poor little abused athletes who are disrespecting America while being paid way too much to play games, and they say, “Oh yeah, well, we'll show you.” If you notice, Trump never mentioned race having anything to do with this, but that's what everyone's made it out to be. And so it goes.

Make no mistake, the national anthem, the American flag and the Pledge of Allegiance are  the same as my country. When you disrespect the anthem or the flag or the pledge, you are disrespecting my country. My country that I spent 20 years vowing to protect with my life, as have many before me. How many of them have?

The NFL and NBA are about 75 percent black – poor, abused African-Americans. Talk about discrimination! Yes, we had slavery. We didn't start it, but we ended it 150 years ago in America at the cost of some 600,000 American lives. No other country has ever done that. Still, I've heard there are yet some 40 million in slavery around the world; why aren't they protesting that? Trump is not the problem.

And then we have that pudgy little crazy dictator in North Korea who's threatening us and others, and Trump tells him he's playing with fire, and Trump's the problem?

Trump was elected to fix the problems like illegal aliens, the economy, health care and taxes, but he gets no help from Congress, even the Republicans, and Trump's the problem? I don't think so.

Ken Selking