Letters to the Editor
Parents generally above reproach
To the editor,
I am writing in response to Lora Mackel's commentary "Saving Children from their Parents." As a parent (and assuming she is not), I must disagree with the assertions she makes. First, I must tell you that I have and use a car seat, which is securely fastened in the center of the back seat at all times (okay, occasionally on the side - but only when absolutely necessary, and never in the front). Additionally, my daughter is completely immunized (although, I did insist she get the acellular polio vaccine, not the kinder gentler oral variety). However, even assuming I am not the target of her rush to judgment, I feel that she is erroneous in assuming that jail is even significant in comparison to the death of a child or a globally appropriate response to such incidents.
The recent tragedy where a young boy was dragged to death by a car jacker, was horrific at best. I heard the mother tearfully replay the story to radio listeners this morning and can't imagine that one day or a lifetime in jail will compare to the sentence she received on that fateful day. Do I agree that she made an egregious error in judgment leaving her child alone in an idling vehicle - absolutely, but it would be a slippery slope to believe that sending her to prison as a martyr to other "stupid" parents is a solution.
I would venture to guess that Ms. Mackel frequently traveled unrestrained in a time before seatbelts were the norm, I certainly did and by the grace of "god" I survived, as have millions of other children. Being a parent has been the most challenging and amazing thing that I have ever done, but I fear the likes of Ms. Mackel. I make decisions every minute I am with my four year old...
Do I leave her in the tub alone for a minute to get the phone? Do I drive her home without a carseat when my husband forgets to leave it at the preschool? Do I let her eat ice cream for breakfast and risk that she will grow up obese? Do I let her use toothpaste with saccharin (which is a known carcinogen) or toothpaste with sugar (which is supposedly bad for you) or no toothpaste at all (which I suppose is bad for you, too)?
The constant barrage of choices I must make as a parent is difficult (sometimes, circumstances require that I make a bad one), but I make them ... hoping everything turns out okay. I suggest Ms. Mackel look closely at her own parents, who although they may not have lost a child due to their "stupidity" are equally guilty at some point of making a decision that could have been deadly, but they were simply lucky enough that it wasn't.
Ultimately all parents make mistakes and tragically some of them are costly to our children, but we must ask ourselves how far we are willing to go in assuming that making a poor choice equates to being a "stupid" parent, let alone a criminal.
Communication graduate student
Affirmative action just discrimination
To the editor,
I wanted to respond to this affirmative action debate earlier, but I was so busy going to school full time and working two jobs, I simply haven't had the time. You see, my parents haven't paid my way through school. They love me dearly, they just can't afford it. I don't drive a BMW, I drive an old Honda, and that's only because I've worked two summer jobs and paid for it myself. I don't wear Ralph Lauren and I've never been to the GAP.
I don't regret having to work for my education. If I had to do it all over again and someone offered me a free ride on a silver platter, I wouldn't take it. I've learned independence, value and respect and how to fight for what I want. It's sad to think that many students won't learn these things because they've had everything given to them. When they get into the real world they may not have gained that independence. The sad part is that this curse is being placed on minorities in general. Minorities are not stupid (contrary to what affirmative action implies). Many of them work hard and achieve great success independently (in spite of our moronic society).
In Christian Jason Bell's letter, he says "at least you did not directly use the phrase 'reverse discrimination.'" Why would I call it "reverse" discrimination? It's just discrimination, plain and simple. I don't discriminate, so how can I be "reverse" discriminated against?
I find it amusing how Justin Moon and Karin Sandoval are trying to tag-team against Tobias Nicholson. They think that just because they are older, they are wiser and know everything about affirmative action. Tobias has some very good arguments. Just because he is a freshman doesn't mean that he has dealt with affirmative action any less than our friends in the medical department. Affirmative action is a relatively new racist ploy that may not have been around when Justin and Karin started college.
I agree with Jordan Shoor and the statements about throwing our society's racist mentality out the window. Let's look at each other as individual human beings and drop these stupid stereotypes. It may be too late for our generation, but it's not too late to save our children from this ignorance.
Michael E. Eskue