Letters to the Editor
Guns aren't the problem
To the editor,
This is in response to the letter published yesterday from Roberto Mendoza, "Guns Don't Preclude Reason." He is absolutely right. One does not abandon reason when they bear arms, only when they point their weapon at another with intent to kill. While we're discussing things that kill, why not address that cars, knives, a well-wielded set of keys and maybe even a strategically aimed rock can all kill as well?
All of these objects need to be picked up and used by a violent human to kill. Blaming guns for deaths is equivalent to blaming a cinderblock for throwing itself off the freeway overpass into oncoming traffic. Mr. Mendoza, guns do not load, aim and fire themselves. Guns are perfectly benign. It's the person behind the trigger that is the problem.
Criminal justice sophomore
Flag article misguided
To the editor,
I have read (Nick Zecket's) article concerning the Confederate Battle and would like to respond as follows.
I am the son of a Connecticut-born father and a Georgia-born mother and am therefore of equal Northern and Southern ancestry. I am a "senior citizen," having lived under twelve presidents and voted for or against 10 of them. I served my country as a combat airman in the United States Navy. I am a retired teacher, having taught history over a quarter century in Florida public schools. During my college years, I actively participated in the then-current national debate topic concerning segregation. I participated in campus efforts to integrate the university which I attended and vigorously supported peaceful efforts toward achieving civil rights for all Americans.
I recall very well the times of segregation and discrimination and would like to enlighten you to the fact that it was not strictly a Southern phenomenon. In fact, between my parents, my Southern-born mother (raised in south-central Georgia) was not prejudiced, while my Northern-born father was. I recall him once saying, "A nigger is just a little bit more intelligent than a dog!" By this, he meant all black people. And, after a black man raped and murdered a white girl in our community, an uncle of mine said, "That's a nigger for you!"
I taught in the public schools before integration, during the transition period, and for many years thereafter. I am very proud of the fact that the first black student I ever had took top honors in my class - not because I adjusted his grades to compensate for any assumed disadvantages he may have had but because he had a higher grade-point average than anyone else in five classes - some 175 students.
When I go to Richmond, Va., to visit friends, I am in the company of black people (I have five friends in Richmond - all black).
I have two daughters living in Columbia, S.C. My younger daughter's best friend through junior and senior high school was a black boy, who, by the way, has eaten at my table. My older daughter, has just built a new house. A black friend helped her move in and hang draperies.
I am also descended from a Confederate soldier and am a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, among whom are black members who are very proud of their heritage.
Now, I know you, as I, abhor those who define all people of a certain race or ethnicity by one classification, and that being the least complementary - as did my father when he defined all "niggers" as being slightly more intelligent than dogs. And so I must take exception to your reference to Southerners who drive "bigfoot-like pickup trucks" as "worthless white trash." I display a Confederate flag on my automobile, and some of my friends display them on their pickup trucks. Are you insinuating that I and my friends are "white trash?"
Your blanket description of Southerners who take pride in their heritage as "white trash" and "racists" puts you in the same narrow-sighted, bigoted group as were my father and my uncle! All black men are not rapists and murderers, and all Southerners who take pride in their heritage and show it are not bigoted racists who "drag black men from the backs of their trucks until the bodies are limp." You have taken a single incident, as did my uncle, and used it to characterize an entire people. How shameful! To do such a thing is despicable and shows you to be no less bigoted than my father and my uncle! You are obviously not well informed about Southern culture and thus ignorantly fan the flames of hatred that may someday destroy a great nation.
As to whether the Confederate Battle Flag should be removed from public places because, in your opinion, it "... signifies not pride, but hatred ... the hatred that drove an entire culture to battle, to bleed, in order to maintain the suppression and oppression of a whole race."
I would like to refresh your memory of another part of our history - that which transpired under the glorious proclamation of "Manifest Destiny" - the murder, dispossession and imprisonment of Native Americans - and all done under the Stars and Stripes!
Finally, let me say that I believe black people were horribly deceived and abused by that government which revised history tells us fought a war to free the black man from bondage. I leave you with the words of Honest Abe, the Great Emancipator himself, who said:
"Such separation ... must be effected by colonization ... to transfer the African to his native clime, and we shall find a way to do it, however great the task may be." From a speech delivered in Springfield, Ill., 26 June 1857.