Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Double standards on racial slurs

Food Network drops Paula Deen | June 22

Double standards on racial slurs

So a Southern woman in her 60s admits honestly that she has used the n-word in her life and loses her job with a TV network. This same woman has had Oprah Winfrey over for a sleepover.

Meanwhile, the 2013 Grammy Award winner for rap song was entitled N---as in Paris. My family, with children ages 9 and 11, attended a high school graduation party two weeks ago and the music blaring through the speakers the entire time, with the high schoolers knowing every word, was continuously filled with the n-word, not to mention sexual profanities of all kinds.

Will these kids possibly lose their jobs in the future for repeating those words? The same words that are costing people their jobs are winning others awards.

My wife and I have counseled our children that any use of the n-word is not acceptable. But they asked at the graduation party, "What is everyone singing that for, isn't that really bad?" Our answer was, and will always be, a resounding yes. Is anyone else as confused by this as we are?

Nile D. Brooks, Tampa

Food Network drops Paula Deen | June 22

Product of an era

I am a 63-year-old Southern woman who grew up in south Texas and Florida. I am Hispanic. Let me explain to your younger readers what it was like to grow up in the era of the 1950s and 1960s.

My parents did not allow me to speak Spanish because they did not want me to suffer the bigotry that they experienced. I could not take tacos in my lunch box because the kids would make fun of me.

When I was in third grade, my teacher got down on her knees and put her arms around me. She then asked me to tell her if I was French or Mexican. When I began to cry, she told me that if I were Mexican, I would have to sit in the back of the classroom. This is my reality of living in the South in the 1950s and '60s. I realize that other people of other cultures suffered even more than what I experienced.

Please let it be known to your younger readers that in this era it was not uncommon for white people in the South to refer to black people by the n-word. Moving forward into the 21st century, thank goodness most Americans today are sensitive and respectful of all cultures.

Paula Deen, being a Southern white woman, was brought up in an era of discrimination. She now has the courage to accept this truth and has apologized to the American public. She has stated that she wants to move forward into what she has learned from today's acceptable cultural standards. Let her move forward.

To ruin her career for what she said in the past is dumb and cruel. Shame on the Food Network.

Sandra Vazquez, Tampa

Punished for honesty

I guess Paula Deen has learned that in the new "politically correct" America, honesty is not the best policy.

Larry Whightsil, New Port Richey

Budget sequester

Find other ways to cut

The upcoming furlough of civilian employees at MacDill Air Force Base is another example of just how out of touch and insensitive our president and his administration have become. The reduction in income on these families will have a ripple effect on our community.

A good leader leads by example. Federal government spending is out of control. Sequestration was to force the government to spend less. Actually, it really just meant we would borrow 2 cents on the dollar less.

In hard economic times, where the government spends its tax dollars is extremely crucial to the welfare of its people.

The president should reduce his traveling abroad. IRS employees are set to receive a $70 million bonus. And now we seem to have money to send arms to Syria.

Why not use this money to reduce the pain on those federal employees who are going to be furloughed? The loss of income to these families is real and painful.

Randy Eisenberg, Valrico

Congress kicks the can | June 21, commentary

Don't blame Social Security

I take issue with Doyle McManus' column with regard to Social Security. He states that a "grand bargain" concerning the federal deficit would require Democrats to agree to cuts in future spending on Medicare and Social Security.

However, Social Security is now and has always been self-supporting, as required by law. While Social Security may require tweaking — such as raising the retirement age as was done previously or, more preferably, raising the maximum income level on which Social Security taxes are assessed — it does not add to the deficit.

Furthermore, I am disappointed in McManus' failure to mention such significant documented deficit contributors as unfunded wars and prescription drug benefits, along with unprecedented tax cuts implemented during wartime.

Joan Zawlocki, Seffner

$270M headache for Bucs | June 22

An insult to veterans

This article is out of line to compare "the gibbering of an old soldier recounting past campaigns to an empty room" to a fax machine. This is an insult to veterans everywhere.

Perhaps the writer should visit Bay Pines VA Medical Center to better understand the sacrifices veterans have made to our country before he compares them to a fax machine.

Jay McGathey, Holiday

Lies thrown into battle against women's rights | June 21, commentary

Cruel words

The words in this piece were insulting, mean-spirited, judgmental and cruel. For someone with Connie Schultz's years of experience as a writer, one would hope she would approach a sensitive subject such as abortion with gentler hands and a kinder heart.

Each of her readers had mothers who allowed them to live. Connie Schultz, your mother allowed you to live. All fetuses deserve the chance to grow, thrive and live their own unique, special life. Period.

Meg S. Allen, Palm Harbor


Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18