The Journal Gazette
Sunday, June 21, 2020 1:00 am

Letters to the editor

Need for diversity made clear by hirings

We enjoy the Sunday Journal Gazette at our house, and have for many years. The June 14 edition was interesting.

The Perspective pages presented strong opinions addressing harsh realities that we must face. The editorial, “City's need to diversify is immediate,” as well as Councilman Glynn Hines' poignant piece, “Now that we're in agreement,” were striking.

What was also quite striking was the “Business People” weekly roundup. It presented 38 pictures of new hires, promotions and elections to boards. All 38 pictures were of white people. Thirty-five of the 38 were of men. Not pictured were the new board members of Wayne Pipe and Supply – six out of seven are men. Want to guess their ethnicity?

Particularly notable was the tranche of new hires at Sweetwater. They missed a perfect 26 for 26 in the “white guy” category by one hire.

To repeat the truth in the Journal's editorial: “The community benefits when its leaders look like the community itself. An enduring commitment to diversity and inclusion must begin today.”

Mark Donaldson

Fort Wayne

Media fuel violence among protesters

My heart and condolences go out to George Floyd's family.

My problem is about “Black Lives Matter.” I think “All Lives Matter.”

When I see news media and people like Wolf Blitzer/Don Lemon/Jake Tapper/etc. show graphic scenes over and over in news reports, they are pouring gas on an already-explosive matter. Do they know young people watching the news will be influenced by people who should be held to better standards?

If protesters want to protest, do it peacefully, not destructively, burning and looting.

There should be a peaceful demonstration on how many blacks are killed by blacks.

Emory Jeffers

Fort Wayne

Newspaper insensitive in mentions of race

As I enjoyed my leisurely read of the newspaper on June 7, my eyes landed on the bottom right corner of the Metro cover. The headline: “East Allen's top 2 are students of color.”

I thought, they surely didn't publish that. I shook my head and refocused. Yes, they certainly did. I read the article and put it aside so I could think about it.

The next day I reread it. I still can't believe, considering the protests across the country and specifically in our local communities where people are marching and protesting for equality, reporter Ashley Sloboda drew attention to students “of color.”

Jesus Gonzalez and DeMisha Billingsley are two young scholars who are to be congratulated for their academic excellence – period.

Marianne Darr Norman

Fort Wayne

Vaccines deemed effective, safe

In response to Mark Dolezal's March 19 letter on his “vaccine concerns”: My knowledge of vaccines comes from being a pediatric nurse practitioner for nearly 40 years. I did see children who were ill, but a much larger percentage of my practice was seeing infants through adolescents for routine “well visits” when vaccines are routinely given.

Dolezal said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, was trying to censor information “that does not support” vaccination. Schiff's actual resolution reads, “The scientific and medical communities agree – vaccines are both safe and effective and there is no evidence to suggest that vaccines cause life-threatening or disabling diseases.” Schiff also described vaccines as one of the “most successful products of medical innovation.” Everything he states is true. This resolution was introduced with physician Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas.

The resolution went on to say that it “rejects unfounded and debunked theories about the danger of vaccines.” This is not an act of censorship, it is a statement widely held by the American medical community. 

Vaccines are estimated to prevent 2 million to 3 million deaths a year.

Dolezal said perhaps vaccines could be spread out to lessen effects on the body. It is uncommon today to see vaccine reactions beyond fussiness, fever, or soreness and swelling at the injection site. Spreading them out often leads to missed visits for the children and increases costs to parent.

A public website, Immunization Action Coalition, contains many resources. I recommend this site to parents for the most recent and accurate information available. I implore all parents to have their children fully immunized. To do otherwise is, in fact, unwise.

Margaret Pahmier

Fort Wayne

Needle-exchange fan will not be missed

I see that Allen County health commissioner, Dr. Deborah McMahan, has retired. Good. Her ridiculous needle exchange program should be retired with her.

Ron Steele

Fort Wayne

LGBTQ support group stands for race equity

As an organization with a focus on providing safe, secure and inclusive spaces for LGBTQ youth and marginalized individuals, GLSEN of Greater Fort Wayne cannot remain silent in the face of oppression, brutality and racism. As an organization, as individuals and as humans, we support and will fight for the rights of the black community.

We value and appreciate our black peers, and we are your allies as we are here to listen, to learn, to support and to call out injustice.

GLSEN of Greater Fort Wayne stands up against racism, embraces anti-racism and will continue to advocate and fight for equality within our community and beyond.

We are available to provide up-to-date information on LGBTQ issues from a national perspective and would be interested in speaking with anyone  regarding GLSEN and its purpose.

Christine Newman-Aumiller

Chair, GLSEN of Greater Fort Wayne

Jews' history demands solidarity with blacks

The Indiana Board of Rabbis condemns the murders of George Floyd (in Minneapolis), Breonna Taylor (in Louisville, Kentucky) and numerous other acts of violence by officers of the law against blacks.

The fundamental values of our religion and our people's history oblige us to stand in solidarity with our black sisters and brothers and to join in dismantling systemic racism in America. Judaism affirms that all human beings are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). The commandment, “You shall not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor (Leviticus 19:17),” forbids us from remaining silent in the face of violence against blacks.

People who are not black cannot presume to completely understand the experiences of blacks. Nevertheless, the bitter experience of the Jewish people throughout history compels all Jews to speak out and to participate in the fight against racism and bigotry.

The Indiana Board of Rabbis:

• Stands in solidarity with our black sisters and brothers.

• Calls for police and judicial reform to eradicate patterns of racism and prevent the abuse of people of color.

• Charges the Jewish community with deep and humble soul-searching and education regarding issues of privilege and systemic racism in our own community.

In the words of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, one of the foremost Jewish authorities in our time and friend and ally of  Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“Religion and race. How can the two be uttered together? To act in the spirit of race is to sunder, to slash, to dismember the flesh of living humanity. ... To act in the spirit of religion is to unite what lies apart, to remember that humanity as a whole is God's beloved child.”

Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow

Chair, Carmel

Rabbi Marla Joy Subeck Spanjer

Fort Wayne

Rabbi Paula Winnig

Fort Wayne

On behalf of the Indiana Board of Rabbis

Limited point of view condemns columnist

It does not appear that Michael Gerson is capable of writing on any other subjects outside of bashing our nation's president.

How about some balance in topics and points of view in that space in your Sunday edition?

Bill Kartholl

Fort Wayne

Police deserve more support from city

Why does Mayor Tom Henry not support our Fort Wayne Police Department? Stop giving these protesters everything they want. Now they know if they start getting violent, the city will just sit back and let them go.

I say give a big high five to the police, the fire department and Three Rivers Ambulance Authority for putting their lives on the line during this coronavirus pandemic. Good job, guys, there are more people than you think supporting you.

Thank you!

Heidi Rae

Fort Wayne

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