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The Journal Gazette

Friday, August 31, 2018 1:00 am


Southeast-side concerns deserve thoughtful reply

A resident, Tamara Files, raised valid and relevant questions in her article “Cheap stores help keep southeast side desolate” (July 29). As a social studies methods instructor, I see a salient opportunity to cultivate a public discussion about segregation in Fort Wayne. This curriculum has to do with race, class, neighborhoods and children's learning.

Files pointed out the stark discrepancies in the quality of life among neighborhoods within Fort Wayne. She raised awareness of what segregation and inequality look like in our landscapes. She asks how and why these differences exist. Her questions are directed not only at city officials and religious leaders, but to the residents of those other safe, comfortable communities that are practically different worlds.

Her comments hit home. I start with the uncomfortable admission that I don't often think about the lived realities of others, let alone work actively for social and economic change outside of the safe confines of the classroom.

Yet, Files voices exactly the kind of questioning that drives, or should drive, social studies learning that prepares the next generations of citizens. I am interested in responding to this call, having conversations, and seeing where this might lead: deeper understanding, civic engagement, public awareness, etc. We have to see, also, how her concerns fit into the larger context and pressing conversations across the country about inequality, multiculturalism, democratic principles and social change.

Files needs to be answered.

Joe Ohlinger

Fort Wayne

Credit where it's due

I watched a video of North Korean and South Korean families visiting after having been separated for decades – heart-wrenching. How many other positive events that are the result of President Donald Trump are we ignoring?

Steve Zimmerman

Fort Wayne

Technology, consumerism hasten our devolution

In our effusive gratitude to our military personnel, we credit them with defending our freedom. I consider freedom's defense to be the province of civil society. Through the selection of worthy representatives, the maintenance of institutions of learning and justice, regulating a marketplace that distributes the benefits of work and investment equitably, and provision of a forum for political discourse, our freedom and democracy are preserved.

When unresolvable disputes between countries result in warfare, troops on the ground have traditionally been the chosen method of combat because it sets limits on the extent of death and destruction the opposing sides are willing to sustain; the other option, utilizing weapons of mass destruction, is considered unconscionable and insane. The military also ensures that the resources and materials required for our domestic industries are made accessible and deliverable to our shores.

Presently, neither civil society nor the military is true to any of these assigned tasks. Our civil society is in shambles. Drones, the mother of all bombs, threats of “fire and fury” and a proposed defense in space are paths leading to automation of the battlefield and use of weapons of mass destruction. An insatiable consumer appetite goads military incursion, invasion and occupation of other countries to wrest resources demanded by that craving. In the process, we create a future enemy to engage in an endless cycle of warfare.

To rationalize this dysfunction, we engage in spectacle-driven theatrics. Our unbounded gratitude and lavish praise of the military is interpreted as patriotism, thereby legitimizing their carnage while enabling them to don the mantle of heroism. We are then conscience-free to consider our major concern, job creation.

Chester Baran

Fort Wayne