Talk alone will not heal racial divisions | July 24, column
Now that's a racist agenda
Clinton adviser H. Roy Kaplan repeated a line I've heard in boast by black and Latino activists — that in 30 years whites will become the minority. Sickeningly, Kaplan asks if white people are "afraid of retribution and retaliation for their behavior and indifference" regarding treatment of minorities. Let me ask this: Are minorities, gleefully on track to surpass white people as the majority in this country, afraid that white people will stop funding the madness of giving people already on the dole a raise in pay for every new mouth they can't feed?
I remain amazed that any taxpayer votes Democrat. Perhaps if Hillary Clinton wins, Kaplan will be back at the White House hiding his own racist agenda behind a campaign of accusing others of it.
Dwayne Keith, Valrico
Liberty and justice for all
We'll never see an end to racial prejudice as long as encouraging it provides economic benefits. A divided labor force is easier to underpay and otherwise disrespect, and focusing our attention on racial difficulties effectively distracts from policies of grave economic inequality.
Similarly, fostering fear to encourage gun ownership enriches the gun industry (much of which isn't even American), and sexualizing our advertising to the point of obsession exploits a strong basic instinct, to distract from political and economic dysfunction.
We're left with too few people who realize that liberty has to be balanced with justice; in fact one could argue that without true justice, no one's liberty is safe.
This is an unofficial policy that dates all the way back to the old Roman "bread and circuses." Keep the populace entertained, or fearful, or otherwise emotionally overwhelmed, and they won't notice that their society depends on slavery (or wage slavery), militarism (enriching few and causing untold misery for most) and classism, another way of fostering separatism.
Eileen O'Sullivan, St. Petersburg
Snowden not cleared to depart airport July 25
After learning that Edward Snowden was recently furnished a copy of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, for his reading pleasure, we are now be in a position to safely predict that soon Snowden will abandon his quest for asylum in Russia and voluntarily return to the United States. If the boredom of living in an airport international transit zone doesn't prompt his surrender, the reading of Dostoyevsky's dark novel surely will. Like the main character in the novel, Snowden has failed to acknowledge the gravity of his crime and is running from responsibility for his acts. However, ultimately, social pressure and a feeling of guilt combined with a recognition of the hopelessness of his position will prompt his return home. He is truly "The Man Without a Country."
John Henninger, Clearwater
Heeding convention's call | July 20, photo
Preaching belongs in pulpit
The copy under the large photo that was run on the front page of the Local section was really inappropriate. It's no problem that you recognized a large religious gathering in Tampa. It is a problem in that the description of the event underneath the photo read as though it was taken straight out of a Jehovah's Witness program brochure.
The copy stated that "the convention will examine why we can trust that the Bible is God's word and what it declares is the truth," and further that the event emphasizes "how God's word of truth can benefit individuals and families." If I want to be preached to, I don't turn to the Times for that experience. Is there no editing done there anymore?
Scott Conrad, St. Petersburg
Protesters: We'll stay till we win | July 24
Stop glamorizing them
It was reported that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has spent about $37,000 in overtime pay for police officers so far and that these "Dream Defenders" aren't going anywhere soon. Truth is, these headstrong idealists will simply drift away if newspapers like yours would stop glamorizing them.
Glenn Michael Rognstad, Ruskin
Siren sounds for Mermaid Marcy's last lap July 24
My daughter worked as a mermaid for years. When the state took over, they were promised raises and benefits. Never were any of the promises kept. She never got near the $10 per hour you mention in the article, and Mermaid Marcy was the boss and seldom entered the water, as should befit a supervisor.
If you are sick because of spending so many hours in cold water, you are on your own. My daughter now has a much better job with benefits and a livable salary.
I wish the mermaids the best as they do a tough job for far less than they deserve.
James Hayes, Port Richey
Owner: Rays, city talk | July 24
Note to Sternberg
Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg constantly cites low attendance in spite of improved wins and says a move would help. Has Sternberg stopped to wonder if residents aren't supporting a team that is owned by a group of millionaires who want taxpayers to foot the bill for their breaking of a legal contract? Not to mention, why would we wish to financially support a business that says it doesn't wish to stay in our fair city?
Kim MacKellar, South Pasadena
Nipping at the heels of wing-eating champ July 24
United states of gluttony
Only in America do we create belly-busting icons like Joey Chestnut and his nemesis Miki Sudo who seek 15 minutes of fame by scarfing down more food than anyone else in town. This over-the-top competitive pig-out in a country suffering under the appalling weight of obesity certainly gives cause for citizens of other nations to view Americans as grossly overweight and overindulged.
I suppose that, unlike the Romans of old, feeding massive amounts of Hooters wings and Nathan's hot dogs to hard-core competitors with a food fetish beats the hell out of feeding Christians to the lions.
H.A. Smith, Palm Harbor