Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Nazism has no "new face"

What Jewish kids learn from witnessing hatred | Column, Aug. 17

Why we teach the Holocaust

Each summer, the Florida Holocaust Museum updates a different section of our permanent exhibition, adding new artifacts and technology. As it happens, we have been working on "The Rise of the Nazis" section over the past few weeks. If anyone has pondered on the relevancy of teaching about the Holocaust in 2017, the events of Charlottesville, Va., should make that clear.

I've been asked over the last few days to talk about the new face of American white supremacy. While no expert in contemporary Nazism, I do not see a new face. The neo-Nazis of today marched through the University of Virginia campus, thrusting lit torches into the air while screaming racist invectives. Who could witness that scene and not immediately be transported to scenes of lynchings, pogroms and autos-da-fé of the past?

People throughout the centuries tried to justify their own hatred and bigotry by exploiting the fears and prejudices of their contemporary societies, using the tools they had at their disposal to try to make hate palatable to the general public. The "new face" of fascism in America is no different. While they may refer to their narrative as competing or "alternative," it is not new. It is the same narrative of hate, coated now in 21st century clothing.

At the Florida Holocaust Museum, we use the lessons of the Holocaust to help identify the ominous echoes of history. We believe that the best way to combat prejudice and bigotry is to educate about the terrible consequences of unchecked hatred.

In that spirit, the museum has partnered with Eckerd College to present Frank Meeink, author of Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead. I invite our community to join us in Eckerd's Fox Hall on Sept. 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. to learn more about the white supremacist movement and, more important, to find hope.

Elizabeth Gelman, St. Petersburg

The writer is executive director of the Florida Holocaust Museum.

UF should let Spencer speak Editorial, Aug. 17

A First Amendment martyr

Your editorial states that the University of Florida, in denying Richard Spencer's right to speak, placed campus security above the First Amendment. You reinforce this thought by calling in the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, whose executive director thought UF made a mistake.

Your editorial expresses the opinion that the state and UF can create a smart security plan, which would grant safe passage to all without creating a riot.

In response to that I have a suggestion. Why not have the Tampa Bay Times set an example by inviting Spencer to deliver his message on your front steps? After you see how that goes, share your learning experience with UF.

You conclude by stating that UF's decision to exclude Spencer made him a martyr for the First Amendment. That's okay with me.

There's no question in my mind that the right to free speech is well-entrenched in our society, especially in the political realm; all we have to do is to look toward our president, Donald Trump.

Joe Green, Brooksville

What Americans value

Both editorials got it right ("UF should let Spencer speak" and "Commissioners, just move the monument").

Editorials always boil down to a question of values of the heart. And these particular heartfelt and thoughtful editorials are worth a rereading.

Your conclusions in both reflect the cherished values of our democracy found in the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution.

Dan Tutoli, Seminole

Same sad story for Callaway, UF | Aug. 15

Hard to discipline athletes

This is not a sad story but, rather one that repeats itself almost daily: coaches and universities unable to adequately address the misconduct of athletes. Athletic programs at major universities produce significant sums of revenue, allowing expansions of programs, facilities and the hiring of "star" professors.

The salaries of coaches are in the millions and are dependent upon winning. To believe that coaches will adroitly address athletes' misconduct is simply not going to happen.

The "sadness" of this story and many others is that some athletes are never held accountable for their actions. UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen stated it best recently when he said that playing college football does not lend itself to being a student.

College coaches should not have a voice in addressing and/or meting out punishment for those athletes who have misconduct issues.

Larry Albert, Dade City

Statue could stay put | Aug. 17

Lincoln statues everywhere

A solution to the Confederate statue controversy would be to replace all of them with statues of Abraham Lincoln. After all, President Donald Trump likes a winner.

John Stansel, Lutz

Trump questions if McConnell should remain majority leader | Aug. 11

Where does the buck stop?

President Donald Trump now blames Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for not moving his legislative agenda.

Trump doesn't seem to realize that it is the President's responsibility to move the agenda by appealing not only to Congress but to the American people.

Instead of holding rallies to feed his insatiable appetite for recognition and approval, he should be using his much-touted salesmanship to sway public opinion.

If Trump needs to find someone to blame for the lack of legislative momentum, he should look in the mirror.

Ernest Bartow, St. Petersburg


Thursday’s letters: Cigars are bad for your health

Tobacco rules don’t suit premium cigars | Editorial, Aug. 13Xyxyx xyxy xyxy xyxy xyxy xyxxxThe argument made in this editorial to exempt the premium cigar industry from FDA scrutiny is, in essence: They are not cheap, they are not fruit-flavored,...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Aug. 17

Re: County authorizes takeover of SunWest Park | Aug. 10‘A poor idea from the startWith no fanfare whatsoever, we now have a new park that no one I know ever seems to use or even know where it is. If it is bringing hordes of tourists to our cou...
Published: 08/13/18

Tuesday’s letters: Habitat should help the poor, not hurt them

Habitat lender choice blasted | Aug. 12Help, don’t hurt, poorAs a Habitat for Humanity admirer, donor and volunteer, I was disappointed to read how Habitat for Humanity’s Hillsborough County affiliate reportedly stumbled in delivering its mission...
Published: 08/10/18
Updated: 08/13/18

Monday’s letters: A gun or a vote: danger is relative

‘I went off the deep end’ | Aug. 10A gun or a vote: danger is relativeAt the demonstrable risk of having someone lose his fragile temper, grab his guns, storm out his door and speed to my home to shoot me for saying so (and why NOT, Florida Legis...
Published: 08/10/18

Sunday’s letters: July’s letter of the month is ‘Time for more civil debate.’

July letter of the monthTime for more civil debate"Politics" is an activity which involves power and control, arriving at decisions based on differing interests. Normally, leaders weigh the needs of the individual with the abilities of the country. C...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18

Saturday’s letters: A team effort made USF preeminent

USF and preeminenceA team effort vaulted USF The University of South Florida’s designation as a preeminent state research university is a prestigious accomplishment and a tribute to the hard work of faculty, staff and students and USF System Presiden...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18

Friday’s letters: Don’t let pollution be our legacy

Algae blooms amid cuts | Aug. 8Brown can’t be the new greenThis headline should have said "Republicans continue to pave their way across Florida, pollute the water supply and destroy animals and their habitat." The Republicans have controlled Tal...
Published: 08/07/18
Updated: 08/09/18

Wednesday’s letters: Girl’s drowning death is one of two tragedies

Mother: Dead girl now ‘pure’ | Aug. 7Two tragediesThis is another tragedy of a parent who became overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for an autistic child. But an equally bad sequence of events is likely to happen in the days and months t...
Published: 08/06/18
Updated: 08/07/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for Aug. 10

Jacqueline Road being misusedI have issued complaints to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, traffic division and also a letter to the sheriff and have had very little positive response.We have an issue on Jacqueline Road with speeding vehicles and...
Published: 08/06/18

Monday’s letters: Enough with praise for Pier sculpture

Aerial art to billow at Pier | Aug. 3Pier art: boon or boondoggle?Well, finally! The Janet Echelman sculpture project has been approved. The dust has settled and now, at the cost of $2.8 million an over-priced, glorified flag will be flapping ove...
Published: 08/03/18