Email letters, August 22, 2014
Racism and overzealous policing to blame in Ferguson
Perhaps I should thank Mr. Glenn Menard, whose letter appeared in Thursday’s Daily Sentinel, for reminding me why I am a liberal. His view of the causes for the conflict in Ferguson, Missouri could not be further from mine. He blames what he calls government “handouts,” when it is clear that racism and over zealous policing are central.
Menard asserts, “there remains a strong culture that will use any excuse to riot, loot, and destroy private property.” How he comes to this conclusion is a mystery. From the President to the governor, to the local level, looting, rioting and criminal behavior have been condemned.
Finally, Menard disparages prominent black men, without naming them, as un-American for perpetuating problems, rather than fixing them. He doesn’t say what a “fix” would be, but many black leaders, local and national, have argued for greater political participation, for better communication between the police and the community and for an open and honest investigation of the triggering event – the killing of an unarmed young black man. Those ideas could go a long way toward “fixing” the problems if implemented with good will and in an atmosphere of respect.
JOHN M. SPURGEON
Green River nuclear power plant approval problematic for Grand Junction
Oh goody, the Green River nuclear power plant has been given more approvals to build just 86 miles in a straight line from Grand Junction. Should something happen there, a breeze could have us glowing here in a few hours.
This is almost as dangerous as the last time I strong arm robbed a grocery store here in town, punched a suspicious cop out while I was walking down the middle of a city street busting his eye socket, then run away, then stopping, taunting him and then attacking to do more serious bodily harm or even to trying to kill him.
District 51 needs to compromise on school schedule
In the continuing saga of District 51’s schedule change for this and future years I personally have not had much concern one way or the other as to the merits or problems with either schedule; until now. We operate a small farm and have hired students to work with us over the years, and give them the opportunity to work at the market, gain skills in money management and social interaction. This includes the hot tiring work in the field. That opportunity is over now but it won’t affect us too much, just the kids.
One of our family members still works for the district and requested personal time off on Wednesdays to enable us to attend the Farmer’s Market. That request for four days off was approved prior to the start of school and the district knew what it was for. Imagine our dismay when she was informed that participating in the market affects her usefulness as an employee and that she would probably be docked for the time already taken off. In their opinion, the valley is no longer an agriculturally based community.
I’m speechless. Really? How many millions of dollars are brought in to the community from peaches alone?
Arguments can be made for either schedule and both have merits. However, if there is no compromise or consideration for the human factor, neither schedule will succeed.
Sentinel makes mistake in publication of Hugenberg letters
Once again the Daily Sentinel has published four letters in one day from Bill Hugenberg. Add to this the multiple times that his letters are published almost daily and this makes the Letters to the Editor his personal liberal blog. He’s a nice guy but this is a little much.
Reader counters false assertions in Menard letter
Glenn Menard’s letter – “Government handouts to blame in Ferguson” – raises crucial questions, including: what exactly are “old school” Republican” conservative values?”
First, FDR’s New Deal originated Social Security and Unemployment Insurance – which offered a “hand up” to temporarily unemployed workers by easing the financial burden of supporting elderly parents.
Second, Menard falsely asserts that “four generations of inner-city Americans…are totally dependent on the government” – thereby perpetuating the racist “welfare queen” canard cynically introduced into our politics by Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Third, Ferguson itself is an illustrative “outlier.” Initially populated as a “white flight” “sundown town” (where Blacks were prohibited after dark), from 1990 to 2010 the racial mix “flipped” from 75% white to 67+% Black – many of whom were upward mobile blacks who themselves were escaping the segregated ghettoes of urban St. Louis.
Fourth, even more black-majority communities surround Ferguson itself. Of the 163 people arrested during the recent violence, only seven were Ferguson residents.
Fifth, the “conservative” rationale for “safety net” programs (particularly, Food Stamps and Unemployment Insurance) is to provide a counter-cyclical infusion of purchasing power to the economy during recessionary downturns – by enabling millions of otherwise impoverished consumers to sustain thousands of small businesses pending recovery.
Sixth, for too long, the black residents of Ferguson were willing to trust a “conservative” (the Mayor was president of his college Young Republican Club) white “power structure” – perhaps (as Menard impliedly suggests) induced by the security of their newly-mixed community to a adopt a dependent and/or “plantation” mentality.
Seventh, consequently, Ferguson became the municipality with the greatest divergence between white/black population proportions and political representation in the Country.
Then, “old school” regressive “conservative values” showed their bankruptcy when St. Louis County’s militarized police force confronted non-violent protestors with lethal “government handout” equipment.