Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Monday, August 25, 2014

Not about rights anymore

Peaceful demonstrations, even riots, can be understood from the perspective of minorities immorally discriminated by the legal injustice of public segregation, as in the America of the 1950s and 1960s. Martin Luther King Jr. called for nonviolent freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly, but using the excuse of a probably illegal and tragic shooting of Michael Brown on Aug. 9, and “longstanding racial tensions” to perpetrate violent riots, associated with pillage and plunder in the America of the 21st century is inexcusable.

In fact, the FBI and the Justice Department, shortly after the incident occurred, announced a “civil rights investigation” of the shooting. Amnesty International sent investigators and trainers on nonviolent protest methods to local activists; and President Barack Obama immediately expressed condolences to the family and dispatched Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson, Missouri. The U.N. Secretary General has called for restraint on the part of the police in responding to the riots, ensuring the protesters’ civil rights and “the right to peaceful assembly.” But that is not what is happening here.

The moral high ground of using the issues of racial tensions and civil rights are lost, frankly, when an inexcusable but isolated police incident is used as a pretext to create mayhem and perpetrate arson and vandalism, not to mention looting and seizing private property and robbery.

As the incident unfolds, it becomes obvious that pillage and plunder are now the real issue -- not civil rights and “long-standing racial tensions” -- at least for the greater part of vandals creating mayhem, terrorizing and robbing the good people of Ferguson.

Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D.

Macon

Cops protect our way of life

The gentlemen who wrote the letter that appeared in Viewpoints Aug. 3 under a heading titled “Nonfiction” should have much sympathy for those whose forefathers may have committed egregious acts upon his ancestors. I would deeply resent being reminded of what my ancestors did centuries ago. Judge me for my deeds and not the deeds of my ancestors should be the presumptive right of every citizen regardless of race.

This thing with racism is often used as a crutch to explain why certain people can’t seem to be able to get ahead in life. They blame everyone but themselves for a myriad of shortcomings -- not finding a job, not getting an education, not being promoted -- to name a few.

You simply won’t find a better place than America to fulfill your dreams. However, if you think you can, you should catch the next plane out of here. We forget that other folks love their ancestors as well as anybody else and may want to celebrate them occasionally as some other are allowed to do.

Some think it is OK to have a Miss Black America Pageant or a Black History Month or participate in an 8A program, but if someone mentioned celebrating another race in a similar fashion, expect Al Sharpton and other race exploiters to come to town.

As a Christian, I am simply tired of the race card being played to conveniently explain away social ills. People, wake up, take the blinders off and get your village in order. Statistically speaking, you should expect a disproportionate number of folks to be locked up when they commit a disproportionately number of crimes. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to deduce this.

We regrettably have a problem in America that is largely created by the thuggish, gang mentality pervasive in most metro cities, yet we criticize those putting their lives on the line every day to protect our way of life from this type of behavior.

Cops all over America are in a war zone trying to keep peace in their respective cities. These men and women deserve the right to go home every night to be with their families. Their jobs are equally as stressful as someone serving in a military declared war zone. And what’s worse, they are not compensated for post traumatic stress syndrome.

Walk in their shoes for a day, and you will experience firsthand what these brave officers typically endure on a daily basis. We only permit them to carry a badge and a gun while society’s enemies carry a wide range of weaponry in their arsenal. What a joke.

-- John Haugabrook

Warner Robins

Viewpoints page

Quite some time ago, I submitted comments to the Viewpoints section of The Telegraph. I then ceased submissions. Thursday’s edition (Aug. 21) convinced me that intelligence, morality and conviction still exist in the Middle Georgia. Bill Thompson’s comments on the foolishness of a third autopsy on the body of the Ferguson, Missouri, teenager; Travis Middleton’s comments on the degradation of America by the acceptance/promotion of homosexuality, same sex marriage, use of drugs/alcohol and abortion of unwanted children, plus Jamie Cockfield’s submission of “Is (Michelle) Nunn’s campaign a joke,” were all accurate and uplifting.

I commend these people for their convictions and commend The Telegraph for printing these fine articles. Hopefully, those Georgians running for political office in November will embrace these positions and advocate them publicly.

-- Bob Blackshear

Warner Robins

Scott no fan of the neediest

U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., at his recent town hall forum in Forsyth spoke as usual with a forked tongue. His staff’s answer to a constituent’s question about expanding the staff at the Macon VA clinic so that her Navy veteran husband could get an appointment? His staff refused to do what she asked for. She got the Austin Scott runaround. He’s against increasing funding for the VA.

Scott does not believe in government-run health care. He only wants to repeal Obamacare and replace it with private insurance with all its restrictions ranging from pre-existing conditions to dropping policy holders for any reason, etc. He doesn’t believe that every citizen should have health insurance.

Scott wants a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget that can only be achieved by slashing social welfare safety net programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, etc. He only cares about our wealthiest 1 percent.

-- Frank W. Gadbois

Warner Robins

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