Racism subtle and not, health care elsewhere, speaking up, DART, summoning Reagan, leaks | Letters to the Editor

Move toward compassion

Re: “Confronting Racism — P&G ad hard to watch but important to understand,” July 31 Editorials.

Thank you for doing this piece on Procter and Gamble’s “The Talk.” As a white pastor, I don’t have to deal with that level of discrimination. I have several black clergy friends who have been pulled over for no reason and forcefully removed from their cars to be patted down. In each case, the officer refused to believe my friends when they said they were pastors; instead the cops searched their Bibles for drugs.

This happened to one of my clergy friends with his 8-months-pregnant wife, in blistering Alabama summer heat. The cop didn’t care; he forced them both onto the hood of their car all the same. When nothing came up in the search, he released them with no apology.

These men are some of the most thoughtful, kindhearted, compassionate pastors I know, and it angers me to my core to watch things like this happen to them and others just because of their skin color. The only thing more frustrating than that is watching white people twist this conversation into an attack on them with the “reverse racism” fallacy. How do we move those people from complacency to compassion?

Kali Freels, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Fitting in

A very good friend of mine was in a position to hire a new technician. He told me that the black candidate was better educated, had more experience in the field and therefore was the most qualified. The white candidate had just earned his associate’s degree and had no experience but was someone he thought would “fit in better with the group.” He was a good ole boy.

My friend hired the white guy, despite the existence of affirmative action in this country. He was not being overtly racist; he just didn’t want to deal with possible discord in his work group. That is why I believe our country still needs affirmative action. As long as one group of people controls a disproportionate amount of the wealth, jobs and power in this country, affirmative action should exist to give others a chance in a society biased against them.

Roberta Stavely, Carrollton

Demand a better answer

Re: “More money, mediocre results” by Brian Dungan, Aug. 3 Letters.

I agree 100 percent with a recent letter on health care. In my career I have had responsibility for employee health care in 20-plus countries — all of which have some type of national system. Ninety-nine percent of them work better than our for-profit system. Read Kenneth Arrow about how markets and health care don’t work.

There are 200-plus countries in the world, yet all you hear about is Canada and the United Kingdom. Even if you think they have problems (they don’t), other countries’ systems should be examined. Switzerland, Germany, Taiwan and Singapore are examples. The U.S. has the attitude that we can’t learn anything from any other country — we are the best at everything. It’s time to get over ourselves.

Congress should be willing and open-minded to learn about how other systems work. Let a group of health care experts do this and report their findings. Taiwan did this some years ago and took the best from various other countries’ systems and revised theirs.

We can’t continue with our current for-profit system. Congress kills every discussion of national health care by saying it’s socialist. That’s not a satisfactory answer. As Americans we deserve a better one, and we should demand it.

Jacquelyn Vilet, Richardson

Shocking silence

Re: “Are we facing our own declaration of guilt? — Evangelical Christians are complicit in our leaders’ cruelty, says Mark W. Hamilton,” Saturday Viewpoints.

I have been more shocked than merely disappointed at the silence from religious leaders since January in response to the hateful rhetoric and divisive policies originating at the White House and oozing through the Texas Statehouse. I even sent an email to First Baptist of Dallas, asking how their pastor could be so vocal in support of Donald Trump and his words, bigotry and hate, and yet so silent when Anthony Scaramucci spewed vile and graphic language ostensibly as spokesman for the president. I got no response at all.

Silence is acquiescence as far as I am concerned. The collusion that we, as Americans, should be most worried about is our perceived approval of all this behavior when we, any of us, sit on the sidelines as hate, prejudice, violence and avarice become the standards by which we measure our success.

I have begun sending emails to our representatives, state and national, as well as to Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, expressing my opinions. We have the option of being vocal between elections, and it is our duty to do just that, whether we are speaking for ourselves as individuals or as leaders of our churches.

Diane Ramsey, University Park

DART’s honor system

Re: “Making DART Safer — Beating strikes fear in riders, calls for action,” Sunday Editorials.

It’s time to tackle two issues with the DART rail that require one simple solution. Issue number one, unsafe conditions, and issue number two, the escalating price of a day pass.

It’s time to abandon the honor system when it comes to boarding a train. If someone tries to board a bus without the fare or a pass, they don’t ride the bus. To accomplish this goal on the train, DART would have to place an officer at the door of every car. New York doesn’t use an honor system in their subways, why can’t Dallas do the same?

The most recent incident where a man was beaten, not only on the train, but at the station by a group of thugs, is an indication that DART doesn’t have the manpower to make the trains safer. My perception is that 99.9 percent of the trouble makers on the train do not purchase a pass. They know the likelihood of being approached by a DART police officer is slim to none. Officers responding after the fact does not make me feel any safer. Having cameras in each car is not an answer.

Drop the honor system. With today’s technology, there has to be a better way. Always worrying about who is getting on at the next stop is not my idea of a safe or efficient rail system.

Mike Davis, Northeast Dallas

Reagan, come forth

I wish that President Ronald Reagan would rise from the grave, float to Washington D.C., and confront our elected officials by saying these immortal words, “President Trump, tear down that wall.”

Donald Wright, Garland

Leaks and the media

Re: “Leak inquiries triple under Trump — Sessions says news media under review,” Saturday news story.

While I support a free press, I hope that the Department of Justice does go after some members of the press who have abused the privilege. The recent leak of transcripts from two of President Donald Trump’s personal calls with heads of state from other countries demonstrates that the press cannot police itself.

Liberals and Conservatives alike agree that this was damaging and should not have happened. Therefore, someone else — in this case, the Justice Department, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions in particular — will have to do it. Every time this subject comes up, reporters who comment on the subject say they jump through all kinds of hoops to make sure they are handling stories appropriately. I don’t believe they do.

John Mayer (“Waiting on the World to Change”) had it right when he sang, “When they own the information, oh they can bend it all they want.”

Ralph Reddick, Celina

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