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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, August 18, 2019 1:00 am

Letters to the editor

America, the concept, worth eternal fight

I just finished the diatribe by Jacqueline St. John in the Aug. 10 letters. Disagreed with it, but didn't think much about it until a bit later. Took my coffee outside and started a new book by Colson Whitehead, “The Intuitionist,” and got to Page 25 when I had to stop and respond.

Whitehead describes the experiences of two black Americans entering the white-dominated workforce in the early days of integration. This description shows the wrong thinking of people such as St. John in her anger at those seeking social equality.

I was born in 1944, probably about the same time as the characters in Whitehead's book. Because of my being born white, not once did I ever experience anything remotely similar to his descriptions of being colored (his word) in 1950s America. This discrimination is recent, not ancient, history. Because I was born white, I have been able to approach life armed with a historical foundation that gave me few, if any, institutional obstacles. I defy anyone to find a black man born in 1944 who can say that.

I may not have caused the racial divisions in America, but I sure received greater social benefits because I was born as a man with white skin. Americans don't have to feel guilty over the past they didn't create, but I think we do have a responsibility to do all we can to continue the fight to level the playing field. And I would suggest it is far from level, even with the civil rights gained in my lifetime.

Saying “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,” then creating a social system in which dark-skinned peoples are excluded and killed for 400 years continues to cause racial strife, and we who are white should be willing to sacrifice to make it right. Not to do so dishonors the human rights theories of our Founding Fathers, and thus dishonors America itself as a unique entity in world history.

Real Americans don't hug the flag; they hug, strive and fight for the philosophy behind it.

Ron Flickinger

Fort Wayne

Democrats unable to counter moral truth

The radical left Democratic Party has a toolbox they use to silence and destroy those who disagree with them. The most frequently used of these tools is charges of racism.

Charges of racism are spewed whenever someone has the courage to disagree with the left or speaks truth the left does not want to hear.

The race card was played again recently when President Donald Trump rightly called out “The Squad” for their anti-American, anti-Semetic and anti-law enforcement rants. Since the rants of “The Squad” are indefensible, the left hid behind the race card.

When Rep. Elijah Cummings brutally attacked a member of Trump's Cabinet during immigration hearings, the president properly reprimanded Cummings and suggested Cummings should be spending more of his time fixing the deplorable conditions in his own district than attacking the president's Cabinet.

Not able to dispute the truthfulness of the president's words, the left, of course, again screamed racism.

The real racists in this nation are the Democratic hard left; they are obsessed with race. They scream racism when the issue at hand has no connection with race.

Another tool in the Democrats' unholy toolbox is hate; for the left, hate speech is anything they don't agree with. There are few things that the Democratic left hates more than the truth, especially moral truth; the Democratic left has no answer for moral truth, so they rebrand it as hate.

Consider the daily stream of hate against Trump and his supporters spewing from the Democratic left for the last two and a half years.

The home of racism, hate, bigotry and mean-spiritedness is now the national Democratic Party.

David Carroll

Huntington

Privilege exists even if it's not acknowledged

In response to Jacqueline St. John's letter (Aug. 10) on the past dragging down the present. Racism didn't end when slavery was abolished. It didn't end when the Civil Rights Act established equal voting rights or when Brown v. Board of Education desegregated schools. Racism is prevalent today when black people are more frequently stopped by police. Given harsher sentences for the same crimes white people commit. When students of color are reprimanded more in schools and given harsher punishments than white students – often preventing them from receiving the education to succeed in life.

Racism exists in the daily microaggressions of rude service, fewer tips, and nurses and doctors disbelieving of black people's pain. Racism exists when real estate agents only show houses in “that” part of town to black and brown people.

You may not have participated in any of the above actions, but have you benefited from them? Has your family been able to accumulate wealth because they were able to receive a quality education, get a decent job, buy property? Have you witnessed any of the above and called out the discrimination in any way?

If not, then you've benefited from simply being white. You didn't ask for this privilege, but not understanding it or having a willingness to confront it does keep this country from moving forward. Read books and articles (there are so many wonderful ones) on how to dismantle the systemic racism established by our ancestors. That's the only way for this country to reach its true greatness.

Stephanie O'Shaughnessy

Fort Wayne

Meaningful action on guns long overdue

We fly the flag at half staff, we offer thoughts, we offer prayers, we watch our politicians visit the wounded and offer sympathy for the dead. Symbols, yes. Meaningful, no!

Symbols can have meaning if they are supported by or have a history of action, such as legislation that addresses mass murders, domestic terrorism and violence. But since Columbine, Sandy Hook, etc., there has been no action to address our culture of guns.

A recent report suggested we would study where effective measures were in place to counter gun violence. That has already been done – in Australia, Russia, all of Europe, Canada and Asia. None of these have gun violence like the USA. Why? Perhaps because guns are not as readily available.

The USA is not significantly different from other countries in mental health issues; all have similar access to the internet and violent gaming; conservative, liberal and radical influencers are throughout the world and easily found. What is different is the accessibility of guns in the USA.

I am a veteran and I respect and admire the Constitution of the United States, but I think we have either misinterpreted the Second Amendment or our founders just got it wrong on this single point.

We are tired of thoughts and prayers, half-staff flags and hollow political symbols. We are long overdue for meaningful action.

John Boerger

Fort Wayne