Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Friday, Nov. 21, 2014


Shame on Macon. The politicians (especially black people who hold power in this so called modern-back-to-the-past city) have allowed a part of our history to be plowed under and disgracefully turned into a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot. Our children already suffer for the lack of knowledge and we are to blame. It is no wonder they have no self-pride. Within our school system, we are teaching our children lies and half-truths about their heritage. Shame on us as parents and educators. When they erase something as important as the Douglass House and Tremont Temple, we should be highly insulted and should voice our discontent. These buildings are symbols of what our people accomplished in times when they were being denied the American Dream. African-American citizens should take a closer look at who we selected to lead.

Charles Henry Douglass deserved better than what this community has given him. If a house is preserved because a cannonball stuck in its wall, what does this say about how they have treated our historical sites in Macon? A cannonball stuck in the wall has not elevated our community at all. It is so sad that we as a people would allow such disrespect to a man who worked to elevate the African-American community in Macon. It is so sickening.

-- Dorothy Henderson


Make Democrats squeal

This past Sunday, the Democrats, in unison, kept saying that we voted to force the Republicans to work together. Interpreted, they are saying the Republicans must do exactly what Obama and Democrats ordain. That is an outright lie.

The Republican establishment, in unison, said “no” to shutdown, while two new young senators on Fox sounded more like us. But in time, they will be clubbed to behave like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Will they succumb?

I don’t speak for all, but, if I may say, we voted for the Republicans to (figuratively) spit in President Obama’s face, to tell the Democrats we will do exactly the opposite of what they say and believe, and we will shut down, including their salaries and without reimbursing afterwards if they don’t close the border first in this immigration standoff.

Then, Congress needs to work on a Freedom of Religion amendment, a biblical marriage amendment, drastic de-funding to zero of PBS, Planned Parenthood, etc, total income tax reform to one rate for all, and yes, total repeal of Obamacare. Let the Democrats squeal.

-- Charles Sanferrare


No compromise

Steve Wooley’s Monday letter criticizing the Affordable Care Act was ridiculous. Not a single member of Congress voted for the ACA. Congressional Democrats wanted a single-payer system like Medicare and Social Security. The GOP has never had a suitable substitute for the ACA. Repeal is its mantra. Bring back pre-existing conditions, yells our no-compromise House speaker.

Millions have not lost their preferred plans, but millions have health insurance for the first time. The GOP congressional leadership doesn’t believe in compromise with Democrats or doing anything with Obama and the Democrats that would make the president look good.

Our Senate produced a bipartisan immigration bill which Rep. John Boehner refused to bring up for a vote in the House. Same with the American Jobs Act. President George W. Bush’s presidency with two failed wars and the economy having to be bailed out by Uncle Sam as we lost 80,000 jobs monthly was not a good example for Obama.

-- Frank W. Gadbois

Warner Robins

Thanksgiving tradition?

Spanish explorers and other English colonists clearly celebrated North American thanksgivings years before the Mayflower set sail. Florida, Texas, Maine and Virginia claimed to be first. Pilgrims and Puritans brought new traditions and meals of turkey, pumpkins and cranberries. Initial Southern traditions did not include collards, country ham and black-eyed peas but were like Northern ones.

Southern acceptance struggled. Yankee lobbyists for a national holiday included Sarah Hale. She progressed toward acceptance until the slavery debate arose and Southerners viewed Thanksgiving as a “Yankee abolitionist holiday.” Virginia, hotbed of anti-Thanksgiving sentiment, cited Jefferson’s doctrine of separating church and state. William Holcomb of Natchez penned, “...I am sorry the Yankee custom has crept in among us ... makes gratitude to God a matter of civil ordinance. ...”

By 1858, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Carolina governors declared Thursday, November 25th as Thanksgiving. Acceptance halted during the war but Hale still got Lincoln to set aside the last Thursday in November. The post-war holiday was kept by few communities -- seldom big dinners. Southerners just took a day off and went hunting.

The 1883 Macon Telegraph complained “not one out of every thousand people drops on bended knees and offers up thanks in accordance with the proclamation.” Next year, the same newspaper ran a recipe for a turkey, cranberry and pumpkin pie meal. Southern families created traditions and regional dishes, but the holiday meal remained defined by New England tradition. Visitors from Boston or Hartford would likely be comfortable at a Southern Thanksgiving dinner.

-- John Wayne Dobson


Don’t eliminate the cuts

The very idea that the entire regime is considering not to go forward with the program voters elected them to do is cause for alarm. Commissioner Al Tillman’s constituents which constitute a majority of the population is not a rational basis to deviate from a necessary budgeting. Taxpayers, not employees of Bibb County, are the crux of their argument. Garbage must be privatized just like it is in the formerly unincorporated county. The current employees (if up to standards by the private company) should be given preferential treatment in hiring. County road maintenance should be privatized too.

Sadly, I speak from first-hand experience. I’ve been waiting years for someone to clear my right of way. County vehicles must be taken away from most of the current users. A daytime motor pool will suffice. Let’s look extremely close at the head counts of all departments. There are absolutely too many layers of upper management. These funds would be better utilized to pay workers. The mayor’s office is grossly overstaffed. Corporations came out the recent recession with very extensive reductions in overhead. You cannot argue with successful leadership. Bibb County is lacking in foresight and leadership. Are we going to have to remove the current board and mayor?

-- Joe Hubbard


Early release

I read this article in Monday’s newspaper and needed an explanation. Jesse Ramsey III served a sentence (date unknown) for possession of cocaine. In 2008, he was sentenced to 5 years for false imprisonment and 20 years for an aggravated assault conviction. Now we’re up to 2014. So far he’s been sentenced to 25 years but has served only eight years. Three months after his release he’s charged with assault and attempted rape. Whatever happened to two strikes and felons go back to prison to finish their term? Will someone explain to me why he was released in 2008? Perhaps a district attorney or a member of the parole board can justify why he wasn’t back in prison until 2028? How many more times will this violent criminal be loose on the streets?

-- Toni Copeland