Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Friday, Aug. 29

Twisting facts

I am writing this letter to address Aaron Hufstetler’s letter with regard to the Michael Brown shooting. Hufstetler was so clearly wrong on so many facts in this matter.

He is correct in that most of the arrests are people who do not live in the Ferguson area, but then he segues right into the media and the Missouri governor making this a racial issue and clearly states the officer was just doing his job. Problem is, no one has heard the officer’s version of the incident or seen any written report giving said version.

Immediately, the officer should have been required to put his version of the events in writing before having time to formulate a narrative and without outside influence. The version given on the radio by a friend of the officer is hearsay and cannot be considered. Unless Hufstetler has heard from the officer himself or has seen a written report, then he cannot make an informed opinion on the situation.

Second, Hufstetler seems to think that an “individual” who said that Brown had his arms raised was lying and has been charged with filing a false police report. If he is referring to Dorian Johnson, who was with Brown, Johnson has not been charged with filing a false police report in this matter. That charge stems from a separate incident that occurred in 2011. If he is talking about Michael Brady, a witness who has recently come forward, as far as I know he has not been charged with anything. The same can be said for Tiffany Mitchell or Thee Pharaoh, a local rapper, who live tweeted the events as they occurred.

Hufstetler then refers to the Trayvon Martin case, another shooting that continues to have lingering questions surrounding it, and calls Martin and Brown “thugs.” Yet, Hufstetler knows nothing about either of these young men except what he has learned from, I would assume, “conservative media” such as Fox News, because he does not believe or trust “liberal media.” At this time, there are still questions to be answered in this case and without the transparency of the Ferguson Police Department, we may never hear them.

Finally, Hufstetler accuses President Obama for taking race relations back 60 or 70 years. It is my opinion that it is those who cannot abide the thought of a liberal, Democratic black man in office who have set race relations back. If you do not think racism against the president exists, then you must be blind.

As for Al Sharpton, because he gave a eulogy at Brown’s funeral, I believe he was welcomed by the family and not just “sent” by President Obama. And while the eulogy did take overzealous policing to task, he also had some strong words for the black community. However, I don’t think Fox News has said anything about that.

Until there is transparency on the part of the police department and testimony from all who were involved and witnessed the events and all evidence has been presented, it is irresponsible to make a statement such as the officer should be cleared. It is even more irresponsible to twist the facts to fit one’s chosen narrative.

-- Kelly Sullivan Joyner


If only ...

One of the myths about the Middle East is that there would be peace if only Israel courted Palestinian moderates. This might be possible if any Palestinians who harbored such a thought weren’t summarily executed. The practice goes back to the days of the British Mandate when the mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini killed Palestinians open to a Jewish presence.

During the anti-Israel uprisings in the 1980s, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction murdered some 800 Palestinians for alleged collaboration. I fear the Palestinians will never have peace because they keep murdering anyone who wants it.

-- Hill Kaplan


Different take

I understand why Frank Gadbois latest rant against Rep. Austin Scott was so jumbled and thoughtless. He accuses Scott and his staff of giving a person “the runaround while speaking with a forked tongue.” Clever. I’ll not ask his position on the Washington Redskins, but to the point, the lady in question had a specific problem that was not going to be solved at a meeting whose purpose was to update constituents on general happenings in Washington, D.C.

Knowing there was limited time before another engagement, Scott spent a good 10 minutes trying to explain to this lady how the VA as a whole is so dysfunctional and continuing to throw money at it isn’t a good idea. He proposes allowing vets to see private physicians. She will fare much better calling staff, who, by the way, deliver world class service and go to great lengths to assist people in need. Asking a question such as she did at this meeting was not the time. I was there, I heard no kind of “run around” or “forked tongue” from Scott or his staff.

I didn’t see Gadbois, which raises another question: Has he had need of Scott’s staff’s assistance? Has he been to the office? I wouldn’t know, but I would guess not.

How in the World does he know Scott’s staff “refused to do what she asked for?” Is he saying staff refused to “expand the Macon VA?” Those pesky staffers. Frank, you have really grown tiresome.

-- Danny Hinton


Private school league

Being previously involved in a private school as both parent and coach, I recognize the need to match an athletic league with the enhanced offerings inherent to private education. The Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association was established to create a home for all athletes and serve the unique needs of private schools. Our goal is to offer a highly competitive league that is God-honoring and accommodating to the individual school or program, regardless of size.

To accomplish this, we established three different divisions -- each having its own rules manual designed to meet the needs of students receiving a similar type of private education. Within these divisions, there are different size classifications, ensuring all competition is on a level playing field, and state championships are awarded for each division classification.

The GICAA, a member-driven league, provides an innovative approach and unparalleled levels of input from its members, which has grown to include more than 95 schools across Georgia. Schools find that our approach allows them to have a strong voice to align the association with the needs of private education.

Next year, the GICAA is furthering its goal of offering enhanced service tailored to private schools with the addition of a new academic and arts programs as well as a middle school sports program for more than 40 of our member schools.

While the GICAA offers a high level of competition in sports and academics, we continue to focus on providing an atmosphere that allows young students to grow into responsible adults, excelling in both life and competition.

-- Todd Hannon


Better story

I was reading Tuesday’s paper, in the Local & State section and I honestly feel the article “New citizens take part in ceremony” should have had the spotlight in this section of your paper.

Instead, you elected to headline “Hummingbird to go smoke-free.” What a great opportunity you had to celebrate 74 new United States citizens who studied hard and made their dreams come true.

-- Kris Boyst